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Before the pandemic, Kroger had been trying to become a bigger e-commerce player, with some success in the grocery wars with Walmart and Amazon. But the COVID-19 outbreak forced the grocer’s hand and led it to speed up a number of digital initiatives to support faster delivery. The upshot is that Kroger’s digital business doubled in 2020, leading to an 8.4% increase in overall sales. The company is now eyeing a target $20 billion in annual online sales by 2023. To do so, it has opened a 375,000-square-foot, fully automated distribution center outside Cincinnati, with nine other facilities coming on line in the next two years.
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