CINCINNATI — The Kroger Co. is taking its Our Brands portfolio of products international with the announcement the company has partnered with Alibaba Group’s Tmall Global platform. Alibab’s Tmall Global platform is China’s largest business-to-consumer marketplace.
As part of the partnership, Kroger said its online store will test select Simple Truth items to Alibaba’s more than half a billion Chinese consumers.
“E-commerce enables Kroger to quickly scale to reach new customers and markets where we don’t operate physical stores, starting with China,” said Yael Cosset, chief digital officer at Kroger. “We anticipate Chinese consumers will love Our Brands — starting with Simple Truth products — just like our American customers do. Kroger is proud to continue to lead the way in making natural, organic and free-from products more mainstream and accessible. Sharing Kroger’s exclusive brands and status as a food authority the world over is exciting.”
Mr. Cosset said the move supports two of the Restock Kroger pillars — redefining the grocery customer experience by elevating Our Brands and partnering for customer value. The three-year plan’s other two main drivers are developing talent and living the retailer’s purpose.
“Kroger is the world’s third largest retailer by revenue — $122.7 billion in sales in 2017,” Mr. Cosset said. “We are creating the grocery retail model of the future by focusing on digital and technology.”
In choosing Simple Truth as the test brand for the new platform Kroger will be relying on one of its most successful brands within the Our Brands platform. Since launching five years ago, Simple Truth has become the second-largest brand sold in Kroger stores. In 2018, Simple Truth surpassed more than $2 billion in annual sales, making it the largest natural and organic brand in the United States, according to Kroger.
Kroger is the latest company to partner with Alibaba to sell products online in China. Other companies that have partnered with Alibaba over the past few years include PepsiCo, Inc., Mondelez International, Mars, Inc. and General Mills, Inc.