Kroger plans high-tech fulfillment center in Atlanta

The Kroger Co. is moving forward with an initiative to bring customers the freshest products possible with supply chain automation.

The supermarket giant and Ocado, one of the world’s largest dedicated online grocery retailers, plan to build a new high-tech customer fulfillment center (CFC) in Forest Park, Georgia (part of metro-Atlanta) for $55 million. Kroger expects the 375,000-sq.-ft. facility to employ more than 400 people and open in 2021.

Kroger has committed to building 20 CFCs, supported by Ocado technology, to accelerate its ability to provide customers with the freshest possible products, anytime and anywhere. The CFC model – an automated warehouse facility with digital and robotic capabilities, also known as a "shed,” will be replicated across America.

Last month, Kroger broke ground on its first CFC, which is being constructed in Monroe, Ohio. Two additional locations have already been selected, in the Central Florida and Mid-Atlantic regions.

"Kroger is incredibly excited to construct one of our industry-leading CFCs in Forest Park — a city south of Atlanta — through our relationship with Ocado," said Robert Clark, Kroger's senior VP of supply chain, manufacturing and sourcing. "Through our strategic partnership, we are leveraging advanced robotics technology and creative solutions to redefine the customer experience across America."

Kroger and Ocado entered into an exclusive partnership in May 2018, in a deal that enables Kroger to leverage Ocado’s smart platform that supports online ordering, automated fulfillment and home delivery capabilities.

Building new technologically advanced CFCs is part of a larger strategy, called “Restock Kroger,” which the company introduced in October 2017. In particular, the CFCs align with Restock Kroger priorities to fund technology and infrastructure upgrades, as well as to leverage robotics and artificial intelligence to transform the customer experience.