The Kroger Co. and Ocado announced they are continuing to expand their partnership with three new customer fulfillment centers (CFCs) in the Great Lakes, Pacific Northwest and West regions, all of which will be smaller than initial sites.
"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 vice president 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."
The new facility in the West will measure 300,000 square feet, the new facility in the Pacific Northwest will measure 200,000 square feet, and the facility in the Great Lakes region will measure 150,000 square feet. The varying sizes demonstrate the flexibility of the Ocado fulfillment ecosystem to best serve the respective markets. When operational, the facilities will collectively create more than 1,000 new jobs, with the potential for hundreds of additional career opportunities. The exact locations of the new facilities will soon be announced.
"Kroger and Ocado are building an ecommerce ecosystem across the U.S. that will deliver unrivalled 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, OH; Groveland, FL; Fredericksburg, MD; Atlanta, GA; Dallas, TX; and Pleasant Prairie, WI. Kroger plans to open the country's first CFC in Monroe, OH, a suburb of Cincinnati, in early 2021.