Technology is a mighty tool to have in the toolbox, and Kroger is wielding it to its full potential. Recently, the retailer tapped its partner Ocado Solutions to continue expanding its high-tech alliance. The duo has announced plans for its latest high-tech Customer Fulfillment Center (CFC) in Phoenix, Arizona.
“Kroger continues to accelerate the expansion of our national network to redefine the customer experience,” said Gabriel Arreaga, Kroger’s Chief Supply Chain Officer. “Our partnership with Ocado is and will continue to be rooted in our ability to deliver a value-added customer-centric solution that brings fresh food to customers through our seamless ecosystem.”
The retailer’s partnership with Ocado stems from the desire to be able to provide its customers with the best service possible, allowing them to get anything, anytime, anywhere, stated the retailer’s release. Kroger and Ocado’s CFC model features an automated warehouse facility that includes digital and robotic capabilities. By implementing this new concept, Kroger is designing a flexible distribution network that can serve customers across multiple regions.
“With Kroger, we are developing a game-changing ecosystem for serving online grocery to customers across the United States. This includes Ocado’s automated CFCs across a range of sizes, as well as software to optimize fulfillment in stores for curbside pickup,” said Luke Jensen, CEO of Ocado Solutions. “Powered by Ocado’s state-of-the-art, proprietary technologies, this site will be crucial in bringing unrivaled online grocery experiences to homes across Arizona and wider geographies.”
Standing at 200,000 square feet, the CFC is expected to become operational 24 months after construction begins on the site. Once construction is complete, noted the release, the facility will serve Kroger customers across Arizona.
Upon opening, the new Kroger-Ocado facility will create hundreds of jobs within the Phoenix area.
“Phoenix is a global center of innovation with the experienced workforce and tech ecosystem that makes it a perfect location for Kroger’s Customer Fulfillment Center,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. “We are excited to see the potential of an estimated 700 jobs within its first five years of operation. These jobs include, but are not limited to, transportation, warehousing, robotics, and technology, which are four of Phoenix’s workforce strengths. The location also takes advantage of our city's burgeoning, advanced transportation network. Kroger has long been a major part of the Phoenix economy, and this new expansion is a highly welcomed addition.”
Partnerships drive our industry, so what can we expect next from the retail sector? Stay tuned as we report.