The Kroger Co. is bringing its leading-edge automated warehouse facilities to three different regions of the U.S.
The supermarket giant and Ocado, one of the world’s largest dedicated online grocery retailers, will build three new “Customer Fulfillment Centers” (CFCs) in the Great Lakes, Pacific Northwest, and West regions. The CFC model – incorporating state-of-the-art automation and artificial intelligence (AI) – will be used to expand Kroger products to a larger footprint via omnichannel sales.
The new facility in the West will measure 300,000-sq.-ft., the new facility in the Pacific Northwest will measure 200,000-sq.-ft, and the facility in the Great Lakes region will measure 150,000-sq.-ft. When operational, Kroger says the facilities will collectively create more than 1,000 new jobs. The exact locations of the new facilities will soon be announced.
"Kroger is incredibly excited to construct three additional industry-leading Customer Fulfillment Centers across the country in relationship with Ocado to bring fresh food to our customers more conveniently than ever before," said Robert Clark, Kroger's senior VP of supply chain, manufacturing and sourcing. "Through our strategic partnership, we are engineering a model for these regions, leveraging advanced robotics technology and creative solutions to redefine the customer experience."
"Kroger and Ocado are building an e-commerce ecosystem across the U.S. that will deliver unrivaled online experiences to more customers, in more ways and in more markets," said Luke Jensen, CEO of Ocado Solutions. "Spanning a range of automated CFC sizes, these three new sites will be key parts of this growing and flexible fulfillment network. Alongside the scale and wider benefits of larger CFCs, smaller format and mini CFCs will allow Kroger to reach more geographies with Ocado's automation, while also catering to a wide range of options for delivery."
The newly named locations will complement the retailer's previously announced CFC sites in Monroe, Ohio; Groveland, Fla.; Fredericksburg, Md.; Atlanta; Dallas; and Pleasant Prairie, Wis. Kroger plans to open the country's first CFC in Monroe, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati, in early 2021.