Kroger Co. this morning said that its third quarter digital sales were up 60 percent, a reflection of CEO Rodney McMullen’s comment that “"Kroger is transforming our business model … moving from a traditional grocer to a growth company with both a strong customer ecosystem that offers anything, anytime, anywhere, and asset-light, high-margin alternative partnerships and services.”

Those partnerships, of course, include this week’s expansion of an existing relationship with Walgreen, which allowed customers to order groceries from Kroger online and then pick them up at a Walgreen drugstore, into a new concept called Kroger Express that has more than 2,000 fresh and packaged grocery products sold in Kroger sections inside Walgreen stores. (Kroger Express is currently in a 13-store test in northern Kentucky.)

Kroger said that its Q3 net income fell to $317 million, from $397 million during the same period a year ago, on total sales that decreased 0.3 percent to $27.67 billion. Q3 same-store sales, excluding fuel, were up 1.6 percent.

KC's View: The next few years likely are to be an unsettled time at Kroger - and that’s a good thing. It is investing in new partnerships and technologies (like Ocado robotic warehouses), and trying to reshape its supply chain and consumer offering into something relevant to mid-21st century consumers.