How Kroger Deployed a Whole New Network to Meet Evolving Customer Needs


Kroger is recognized as one of the largest supermarket chains globally and operates an extensive network of 2,750 grocery retail stores under various names. Their offerings range from traditional supermarkets to digital shopping options and multi-department stores. In addition to their grocery stores, Kroger has 170 fine jewelry stores and operates an efficient three-tier distribution system, food production facilities, and pharmacies, aligning with their one-stop-shopping strategy. However, Kroger's ambition extends beyond scale; they aim to redefine customer experience and operational efficiency through technological innovation.

Embracing technology and innovation, Kroger embarked on a transformative journey to revolutionize customer experience and operations. With a workforce of over 430,000 and serving millions of customers daily, Kroger's goal was clear: to become the epitome of freshness in the retail market. This freshness initiative sought to provide customers with fresh foods and convenient offerings, whether through digital platforms or in-store experiences.


Why Did Kroger Undertake Such a Challenging Initiative?

To quote Elijah Savage, Kroger's VP of Infrastructure, Engineering, and Operations, "It matters because we had to do it." Kroger aims to provide seamless, efficient customer experiences, and this was the route to delivering that world-class customer experience and proactively adapting to the evolving retail landscape. By empowering their workforce with tools and processes that streamline daily tasks, Kroger enables associates to serve customers better, ultimately creating a better experience, fostering loyalty, and driving repeat business.


Building the Right IT Strategy to Support the Ambitious Initiative

Kroger's core objective was to create an environment where associates could effortlessly engage with customers, providing them with an experience that exceeded expectations. To achieve this ambitious freshness goal, Kroger sought advanced capabilities, technology integrations, artificial intelligence, and a future-proof infrastructure.

Something that we can build today that would take us into the future, making our associate and customer experience world-class, head and shoulders above everyone else.
Elijah Savage
VP of Infrastructure, Engineering and Operations, Kroger

A SEAL Team Six Style Deployment

Kroger set the bar exceptionally high for their deployment team, demanding a level of execution similar to SEAL Team Six. The expectations were stealthy execution, where the team could seamlessly implement changes overnight without leaving a trace of their presence, as Elijah highlighted in the clip below:


Extreme rose to the occasion, meeting and surpassing Kroger's lofty expectations. Every night, in 10 to 60 stores per week, access points were replaced without incident, ensuring minimal disruption to operations. What's more remarkable is that this program, initiated eight months prior, has not encountered a single major incident or downtime.


The only trace the teams have left behind is connectivity that is so seamless that associates are baffled by how well their technologies are working. In the clip below, Elijah talks about how he has had associates reach out and ask, "What did they do last night? My mobile device with my in-stock application really pops now!"


Kroger and Extreme: The Dream Team

Kroger's journey toward becoming the freshest retailer in the market has been built based on a commitment to innovation, operational excellence, and, most importantly, customer satisfaction. Through their partnership with Extreme, Kroger has not only met but exceeded their goals, achieving enhanced mobile device performance and seamless deployments across their many different store and facility locations. As Kroger continues their rollout process and digital transformation journey, they remain dedicated to pushing boundaries and setting new industry standards for freshness and customer service.

About the Author
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Cammy Perry
Senior Content Marketing Specialist

Cammy is a Content Marketing Specialist at Extreme Networks, leveraging her expertise to craft thought leadership and engaging content.

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