Merchant Innovation

Kroger Building New Automated Warehouse Facility

Kroger Builds New Automated Warehouse Facility

Supermarket giant Kroger and online grocery retailer Ocado are joining forces to build the second of 20 planned automated warehouse facilities.

The two companies have broken ground on what they call America’s second “customer fulfillment center” (CFC), located in Groveland, FL, according to a press release. The $55 million center, expected to become operational in 2021, will measure up to 375,000 square feet and is expected to generate up to 400 new jobs.

“Kroger is excited to enter Florida to redefine the customer experience through our industry-leading partnership with Ocado,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO. “There’s substantial demand for Kroger products and services in the state, and we’re eager to offer a new and seamless experience through the customer fulfillment center, leveraging advanced robotics technology and creative solutions to provide customers with anything, anytime, anywhere.”

Kroger’s first CFC is being constructed in Monroe, OH. Its model is being duplicated in Groveland and will continue in cities across the U.S., the release said.

“This is another significant milestone for Kroger and Ocado and a big step toward a nationwide revolution in how Kroger customers experience grocery eCommerce,” said Tim Steiner, CEO of Ocado Group. “As they enter Florida for the first time, Kroger is breaking ground in more ways than one… Our partnership is also creating exciting opportunities for technologists and engineers to work with Ocado’s cutting-edge robotics and automation.”

Kroger presented $10,000 to a Groveland hunger-relief agency, which is also in line with the company’s social impact plan to end hunger in its communities and eliminate waste across the company by 2025, the release indicated.

“The City of Groveland is thrilled to partner with Kroger and Ocado,” said Groveland Mayor Evelyn Wilson. “We share their values of customer service, commitment to excellence and demonstrated concern for people and the environment, all fitting perfectly with Groveland and our shared future.”

Kroger recently introduced Kroger Pay, a new mobile payment option and loyalty rewards card. The mobile payment option is available in any Kroger apps. Shoppers can either use biometrics, enter a custom code or use the app’s QR code functionality to provide payment and loyalty card info.

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