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Kroger said yesterday that it is "hiring more than 200 associates as it prepares to bring Kroger Delivery to the South Florida market this summer, providing fresh food and the convenient, exceptional service to area residents."

Kroger currently operates the pure-play, e-grocery service in three Florida markets.

"We are thrilled about the opportunity to provide fresh food and convenient services to customers throughout South Florida," said Andrea Colby, eCommerce corporate affairs and communications manager, in a prepared statement.  "The service combines the efficiency of technology with the experience of our associates to deliver fresh, affordable groceries directly to customers' homes."

KC's View:

More than ever, it seems to me, competition does not know borders, nor inherent limitations.  Market share and trade area analyses may become obsolete constructs.

I was in Orlando, Florida, for a speaking engagement last week.  (Yes!  So happy that live events have returned!)  As I was driving around, I saw four different Kroger Delivery trucks … or maybe the same truck four different times, though that seems unlikely.  Kroger is out there with a recognizable brand, challenging bricks-and-mortar stores with a 21st century model.

I suspect that Kroger will have to be patient;  this is not a play that, I suspect, is likely to create ROI overnight.  But it is a long-term play that has the potential to reshape an industry often mired in "we've always done it that way" thinking.