>> In February when Amazon introduced free whole foods delivery for Prime members in Cincinnati, the hometown of grocery chain Kroger, it sparked a grocery delivery war. Now, Kroger is recruiting robots to fight back. Reuters' Liza Bartline.>> Kroger and Amazon sold foods as well as rivals like Walmart, Target, and Local Plan Myer.
Are laying battle lines here in Cincinnati that are a window into how the grocery delivery war will play out around the country.>> The delivery war starts with picking packing the online orders. For now the task falls on independent drivers to gather the items and deliver them to customers door steps, but Kroger want to automate the whole process.
Earlier this year Kroger invested $248 million for a stake in Ocado, which makes these robots that pick the groceries in high tech warehouses called sheds. These robots can pull together 50 item grocery order in 5 to 15 minutes, a fraction of the time it takes a human to do the work in a store.
And for delivery, Kroger which was already bringing packages to customer's homes from a horse drawn carriage in the 1880s, is gearing up on the technology.>> Kroger's partnership with Silicon Valley base Nuro will test the different kind of horse power. Kroger hopes that Nuro's driverless delivery van will help it cut the high cost of taking packages that last mile to customers.
>> Since Amazon bought Whole Foods last year grocery chains have been on edge, and looking for ways to compete with the e-commerce giant, that's disrupted many sectors. But until the robots can really pick up the slack, Kroger says it will also continue investing in its curbside pickup service.
Shoppers order online and drive up to the store parking lot where their order is loaded up into their car. That can help to get customers into the habit of buying online as Kroger boots up the future of delivery.