Kroger opens fulfillment center in Denver Metro area
"As one of the strongest economies in the country, we're thrilled the Kroger-Ocado partnership recognized the quality business parks, infrastructure improvements and diverse workforce here," said Wendy Mitchell, president and CEO of the Aurora Economic Development Council. "This is a fast-growing industry sector that will be a catalyst for additional development in the area."
Customers looking to save even more can register for Boost by King Soopers annual membership. For $59 or $99 per year, Boost customers enjoy unlimited free delivery on orders of $35 or more and 2X Fuel Points for every $1 spent. Kroger estimates the membership can save customers more than $1,000 on fuel and groceries annually.
"We are excited to welcome Kroger's new Customer Fulfillment Center to our community, and the addition of over 200 new jobs for local residents," said Steve O'Dorisio, chair of the Adams County Board of Commissioners. "This facility is not only an incredible investment to our local economy but also a great convenience, providing a delivery option to those in our community who may have mobility issues, or simply lack the time to go into a physical location. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Kroger and supporting their efforts to bring affordable, high-quality groceries to our community."
The Aurora customer fulfillment center employs more than 200 associates, with plans to expand to more than 400 total associates in the future.
[Read more: Kroger delivery expands to South Florida]
"We're proud to bring Ocado's technology to Aurora, and to help launch a service that will power world-class customer experiences for Kroger Delivery shoppers in the Denver Metro Area," said Mark Bentley, president of Americas for Ocado Solutions. "We are now live with 8 CFCs around the U.S. supporting Kroger Delivery to reach customers across 14 states. As we continue to expand this network nationwide, we're introducing a step change in online grocery experience for Kroger shoppers, powered by some of the most sophisticated technology applied to any sector of the global economy."
Kroger Delivery CFCs, powered by Ocado Group, have significantly increased geographical penetration and customer satisfaction. Kroger is bringing these benefits to the Denver Metro area with the Aurora CFC and more U.S. markets.
The expansion to the Denver area represents an extension of a collaboration between Kroger and Ocado Group, a world leader in technology for grocery e-commerce. In 2018, the companies announced a collaboration to establish a delivery network that combines artificial intelligence, advanced robotics and automation in a bold new way, bringing first-of-its-kind technology to America.
The delivery network relies on highly automated fulfillment centers. At the hub sites, more than 1,000 bots move around giant 3D grids orchestrated by proprietary control systems. The grid, known as The Hive, contains totes filled with products and ready-to-deliver customer orders.
Kroger's end-to-end cold solutions keep groceries fresh once loaded into a customized refrigerated delivery van, which can store up to 20 orders. Machine learning algorithms optimize delivery routes, considering road conditions and optimal fuel efficiency. Vans may travel up to 90 minutes with orders from the hub and spoke facilities to make deliveries. Associates at the spoke facility will deliver orders within their service area, adding ZIP codes as demand grows.
Kroger currently operates customer fulfillment centers in: Monroe, Ohio; Groveland, Fla.; Forest Park, Ga. (Atlanta); Pleasant Prairie, Wis.; Dallas, Texas; Romulus, Mich. (Detroit) and Frederick, Md. Additional customer fulfillment centers are slated for Phoenix, Ariz.; Cleveland, Ohio; Charlotte, N.C.; South Florida, California and the Northeast.