Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group is in talks with US grocer Kroger – but the agenda has not been revealed.
Media reports from the US say Kroger executives have visited Alibaba’s offices in China, but negotiations are in the early stages and there is no certainty of cooperation between the two companies.
News of the Alibaba and Kroger meetings comes as US e-commerce company Amazon continues to expand its grocery business following the acquisition of grocer Whole Foods Market.
News of the talks between Kroger and Alibaba was revealed by the New York Post and – as yet – neither company has responded to requests for comment.
A deal between Alibaba and Kroger would not only give Alibaba a major opportunity to expand its relatively immature US business, but would give Kroger access to leading edge technology from Alibaba allowing it to step up its fight with the Amazon-Whole Foods alliance.
Alibaba is currently in the early stages of rolling out an offline grocery retail business called Hema In China.
Kroger, meanwhile, is looking to expand its general merchandise offer – something Alibaba could make a lot easier.