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Business Insider reports that Kroger plans to test a new delivery service, dubbed Kroger Package Services (KPS), in some 220 stores later this year. The service will have it teaming up with United Parcel Service (UPS), the US Postal Service (USPS), and FedEx.

Here's how the story describes the new service:

"The program is rolling out amid rapid growth in package deliveries in the US and globally. More than 12.5 billion parcels were shipped in the US last year, marking an increase of nearly 8% over the previous year, according to estimates from Pitney Bowes.

"Under KPS, select Kroger stores accept packages - including those that require signatures - from major carriers including UPS, USPS, and FedEx, and store them in a secure area until customers pick them up.

"The program also allows shoppers to drop off pre-labeled packages or bring in unboxed items for shipping anywhere in the US. Automated kiosks enable shoppers to print or purchase shipping labels as well."

"Kroger Package Services is one of several ongoing tests we have in market to further develop our portfolio of seamless customer experiences," a Kroger spokesperson tells Business Insider. "The pilot allows us to test and learn in a retail setting, gaining useful insights from both customers and associates."
KC's View:
A theme that I've been writing about lately here has been the need for retailers to reduce friction in the shopping experience. It seems to me that it makes a lot of sense for Kroger to test the idea that it also may be able to reduce friction beyond its shopping environment, which could be relevant to its shoppers.

The irony, of course, is that it could end up facilitating Amazon's shipments … but it is hard to get into this segment without intersecting with Amazon at some point. If you have confidence in your own value proposition and are willing and able to continue innovating, that's okay.