“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, a Kroger senior vice president, in a statement. “Through our strategic partnership, we are engineering a model for these regions, leveraging advanced robotics technology and creative solutions to redefine the customer experience.”
The Cincinnati-based grocery chain, which has 2,757 stores nationwide, has partnered with Ocado to build warehouses in the Great Lakes, Pacific Northwest and West regions to accelerate its ability to provide customers with products.
The facility in the West will be the largest at 300,000 square feet, while the warehouse in the Pacific Northwest will be 200,000 square feet and the facility in the Great Lakes region will measure 150,000 square feet.
The companies said the varying sizes demonstrate the flexibility of Ocado’s fulfillment platform to best serve the respective markets. The exact locations of the new buildings were not revealed.
When operational, the plants will create more than 1,000 jobs, with the potential for hundreds of additional career opportunities, the companies said.
“Kroger and Ocado are building an eCommerce 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, in a statement. “Spanning a range of automated customer fulfillment center sizes, these three new sites will be key parts of this growing and flexible fulfillment network.”
The new warehouses couldn't come at a better time. A PYMNTS report noted that the number of online grocery orders increased by nearly 80 percent from January through April compared to the same period one year ago as demand grew from the pandemic, according to Rakuten Intelligence. Meanwhile, a Brick Meets Click/Symphony RetailAI online grocery survey found that sales reached $5.3 billion in April, a 37 percent rise over March.