Kroger is shoring up its delivery business.
The company announced the addition of a new customer fulfillment center in North Carolina, powered by the Ocado Group, combining vertical integration, machine learning, and robotics "to provide an affordable, friendly, and fast fresh food delivery service as part of the company's seamless ecosystem."
"The acceleration of our delivery business continues with the development of an additional customer fulfillment center, advancing our commitment to creating career opportunities and serving shoppers fresh food fast through interconnected, automated, and innovative facilities and last-mile solutions across America," said Gabriel Arreaga, Kroger's senior vice president and chief supply chain officer. "We thank Governor Roy Cooper for his collaboration and support of this project, and the company looks forward to serving new and existing customers across North Carolina."
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"As e-commerce continues to grow, I'm pleased Kroger will locate this highly advanced fulfillment center in our state," said Governor Roy Cooper. "From our hard working and skilled people to our advanced transportation networks and overall business climate, North Carolina offers the right ingredients for a modern business to succeed."
The North Carolina customer fulfillment center, measuring 200,000-sq.-ft., is expected to become operational within 24 months after the site breaks ground and will employ up to 700 associates over the next five years.
"We're excited to come to North Carolina in partnership with Kroger," said Luke Jensen, CEO of Ocado Solutions. "As demonstrated by the two state-of-the-art CFCs already live in other parts of the country, Ocado is helping Kroger to establish a new high-bar in the type of quality and service that U.S. grocery shoppers can receive online. We can't wait for customers across North Carolina to experience online delivery, enabled by Ocado's unique technology."
Today's announcement confirms a previous communication stating the Kroger Fulfillment Network would construct a customer fulfillment center in the South.
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Kroger Fulfillment Network currently operates customer fulfillment centers in Groveland, Fla. and Monroe, Ohio. The company is slated to open sites in California; Dallas, Texas.; Forest Park, Ga.; Frederick, Md.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Pleasant Prairie, Wis.; Romulus, Mich.; South Florida; the Northeast; Pacific Northwest and West.