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Kroger launches delivery service in four cities to take on Amazon, Walmart

Key Points
  • The service will eventually roll out "to additional markets over the next few months," Kroger said.
  • Kroger Ship offers customers access to 4,500 products that aren't available anywhere else on Kroger.com, according to the company.
  • Walmart, Target and Amazon, which owns Whole Foods, are each trying to bulk up their own delivery services.
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Kroger to launch grocery delivery service

Kroger on Wednesday launched grocery delivery service "Kroger Ship" in four U.S. cities: Cincinnati, Houston, Louisville and Nashville.

Shares of Kroger rose around 1 percent in premarket trading following the announcement.

The announcement comes as the Cincinnati, Ohio-based retailer has been looking for ways to bulk up its supply chain to compete with the likes of Walmart, Amazon, which now owns Whole Foods, and Target. These companies are each looking for ways to get orders to customers more quickly and efficiently. Kroger has been primarily focused of late on perfecting its curbside pickup service, known as ClickList.

Target acquired Shipt to begin offering same-day delivery on grocery and household items. Walmart has said it plans to bring its grocery delivery platform to 800 of its stores by year's end. And Amazon is slowly using its own network of resources to bring Whole Foods delivery to major metros in New York and Florida, moving away from Whole Foods' partnership with Instacart.

Kroger said its new Ship service will eventually roll out "to additional markets over the next few months."

Customers can shop online and receive free doorstep delivery on orders of more than $35, or pay a fee of $4.99 per order for smaller orders, the company said. First-time customers will receive free shipping with no minimum purchase required, and 15 percent off their order with a one-time-use discount code.

Kroger Ship customers will also have access to 4,500 products that aren't available anywhere else on Kroger.com, along with more than 50,000 groceries and household products, the company said in a statement.

Shares of Kroger have climbed more than 5 percent so far this year to trade around $29. The company has a market cap of roughly $23.1 billion, compared with Walmart, which has a market cap of $263.3 billion, and Target, which is valued at $43 billion.

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Credit Cards

Kroger's California subsidiary to bar Visa credit cards amid fee dispute

Key Points
  • Kroger says it will no longer accept Visa credit cards at Foods Co. stores in Central and Northern California as the two companies clash over rates and fees.
  • The ban on Visa credit cards will take effect starting Aug. 14 and affect stores in major cities like San Francisco and Sacramento.
  • Visa told CNBC it is "disappointed" at Kroger's decision and will continue to work with Kroger to reach a solution.