Microsoft Fighting Amazon in the High-Tech Grocery Store Space

The tech company is partnering with Kroger to "redefine grocery retail."

Microsoft is the world's most valuable company. (David Ramos/Getty Images)

Kroger, the largest grocery chain in the U.S., has partnered with Microsoft to create a pair of high-tech stores meant to compete with Amazon and its ever-growing reach.

The locations — one in Washington and another in Ohio — are filled with “digital shelf labels and image recognition cameras,” in an effort to create an environment that’s easier for both customers and retail employees to navigate, The Verge reported. Future plans involve using digital signage to sell targeted ads based on customer demographics.

Kroger is the second major retailer to partner with Microsoft since Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods and the reports that the company plans to launch 3,000 Amazon Go stores across the country.

The Microsoft-Kroger stores aren’t as technologically advanced as the cashier-free Amazon Go stores, according to The Verge, but they’re much more futuristic than the chain’s 2,800 existing locations.

Kroger’s two new stores, however, will offer customers a guided shopping experience via an app that will direct them around the store to find each item on their shopping lists. When they arrive at the correct aisle, a digital shelf sign will alert them to the item they’re looking for, indicated by a personalized symbol.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.