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Kroger to sell products in China on Alibaba's Tmall platform

Supermarket operator The Kroger Co. will make its first move overseas by selling its products on Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.'s Tmall Global platform in China, an Alibaba spokesperson told S&P Global Market Intelligence on Aug. 14.

"We are pleased to work with Kroger to bring their Kroger Simple Truth products to the Chinese market through our Tmall Global platform to meet Chinese consumers' growing demand for high-quality, organic food products," the spokesperson said.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier Aug. 14 that the U.S. supermarket chain would initially sell dietary supplements and private-label products on the site. The company sells those products online in the U.S. via Vitacost.com Inc., an e-commerce site it acquired in 2014, the Journal reported.

Kroger did not immediately respond to S&P Global's request for comment. The company's shares were up 2.05% to $30.36 in afternoon trading.

"Kroger's decision to sell its products on Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba creates a new outlet for its very popular private brands and demonstrates that Kroger will not remain static in the fast-changing supermarket landscape," Mickey Chadha, vice president at Moody's said in a statement.

Chadha said this initiative is a natural progression in Kroger's strategic transformation to compete on all fronts and not only in its traditional brick and mortar comfort zone.

Earlier this month, Kroger unveiled a direct-to-customer e-commerce platform called Kroger Ship as part of its Restock Kroger initiative to revamp its physical stores and online offerings.

In May, Kroger and Ocado Group PLC agreed to a deal under which the U.S. grocer will exclusively use the U.K. online grocery retailer's technology for food distribution-related activities.