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Drone delivery program takes off at Centerville Kroger

Kroger Drones
Posted at 5:29 AM, Jun 09, 2021

CENTERVILLE, Ohio — Starting today, those living in Centerville, Ohio, who need something from Kroger in a pinch could have a drone deliver what they need.

Kroger is launching a drone delivery pilot program at their Centerville location, but the Cincinnati-based grocery chain has been testing the program in the area for the past few weeks.

Here's how it works: A customer can place an order online, and then a store associate picks and packs the items. A drone operator stationed in the Kroger parking lot then flies a drone with those items directly to the customer's location. The goal is to deliver items to customers within an hour.

There's no cost for drone delivery; however, there are a few limitations. The items that can be delivered via drone have to weigh less than five pounds, and in order to have an item delivered by drone, the drop-off location must be within one mile of the Centerville Kroger.

However, the drone delivers to your smartphone location -- not a physical address -- so it can deliver items to you while you're at a park or out and about.

Erin Rolfes, Kroger's corporate affairs manager, said the company is bundling some items to make drone deliveries easier and more customer-friendly.

"So if you're out at a baseball game or, I know there's a golf course that's nearby, and you just really need sunscreen, or you've been out too long, there's an 'In the Sun' bundle," Rolfes said. "There are different things we're trying to put together for different customers who kind of might be in that moment of 'I need something really fast.'"

Kroger officials said they plan to expand the program out west later in the summer, but there's no word on when it will reach the Tri-State.