In an increasingly tight retail market, with consumers becoming more interested in specialty services like grocery delivery and pick-up, Kroger is taking steps to ensure it can meet demand. The retailer has recently teamed up with Ocado to build a $55 million high-tech customer fulfillment center (CFC) in Forest Park, Georgia.
"Kroger and Ocado's first customer fulfillment center in Metro Atlanta will transform the ecommerce experience for customers in the region," said Luke Jensen, CEO of Ocado Solutions. "In a fast-developing landscape for grocery retail, Kroger's determination to continue delivering the best experience for its customers, online as in stores, is unparalleled."
This is just one part of Kroger’s growth plan, as the retailer has plans to build 20 CFCs powered by Ocado in total— one of which is also set to cost $55 million and will be located in Monroe, OH. This expansion is designed to accelerate the company’s ability to provide its customers with anything, anytime, anywhere, according to a press release.
"Kroger is incredibly excited to construct one of our industry-leading Customer Fulfillment Centers in Forest Park—a city south of Atlanta—through our relationship with Ocado," said Robert Clark, Senior Vice President of Supply Chain, Manufacturing and Sourcing for Kroger. "Through our strategic partnership, we are leveraging advanced robotics technology and creative solutions to redefine the customer experience across America."
The CFC will be an automated warehouse facility with digital and robotics technology. This model, also known as a “shed,” will be the basis of each CFC, designed to serve customers across the country.
"The new facility will provide Kroger the ability to bring customers across the coverage area fresher food faster than ever before," said Tim Brown, President of Kroger's Atlanta division. "I'm thrilled the Atlanta market was selected as one of the 20 CFC sites, and this location is a tribute to the commitment and enthusiasm Kroger has for the City of Forest Park, Clayton County and State of Georgia."
The CFC will create more than 400 new jobs, enriching the community. Several notable public figures have expressed their enthusiasm for the project because of the opportunities it will create, and how it will strengthen the entire state’s business climate.
Located at 2000 Anvil Block Road in the Gillem Logistics Center, the CFC will occupy 375,000 square feet. The facility is scheduled to break ground later this year and be operational in 2021.
Will the CFCs prove enough to give Kroger a leg up on the competition? Deli Market News will report.