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Amazon faces more competition in grocery

Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) took Microsoft’s (MSFT) place as the most valuable public company in the US on Monday. Amazon, with a market value of $790 billion, overtook Microsoft which stood at $785 billion. Alphabet (GOOGL) took third place with a market cap of $740 billion, marching ahead of Apple (AAPL) whose market cap dropped to $694 billion after being plagued by slowing iPhone sales, the trade war and a reduced outlook.

However, Microsoft has a few battle plans of its own. The tech giant is teaming up with Kroger (KR) to introduce new high-tech grocery stores to go up against Amazon. The program will be first tested at two Kroger stores in Ohio and Washington.

The new system will use Microsoft’s cloud computing service Azure to collect and process data within stores, which in turn will help it in assessing customers’ shopping patterns and also in making improvements in the stores. It will also use digital displays to show details on prices, nutrition and promotions. The displays can reflect changes faster as they occur in the store, and help customers locate products easily.

Retailers have resorted to various strategies to compete against Amazon in the grocery space. Many of them have been investing heavily in new technologies and processes to make the grocery shopping experience more convenient for customers. These include online orders, pickup facilities either curbside or at the nearest store, as well as delivery options.

More Whole Foods stores in cards as Amazon continues expansion spree

Last year, Microsoft was said to be working with Walmart (WMT) to develop store technology that could eliminate the existing checkout process similar to the Amazon Go stores that were rolled out in several cities.

Amazon, meanwhile, after acquiring Whole Foods, has been offering all sorts of facilities to its grocery customers such as benefits under Prime membership, latest technologies at stores and delivery services. Grocery is a tricky space for Amazon and the online retailer is doing everything it can to keep up by investing heavily in new technological capabilities and physical store space.

As of 2:45 pm ET, Amazon’s stock was up 1.8% while Microsoft’s stock was up 0.91%. Kroger’s shares were up 1.5%.

 

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