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Kroger’s delivery service lands in Oklahoma

The retailer’s new fulfillment center in Oklahoma City will deliver orders in a temperature-controlled delivery van that can store up to 20 orders.
kroger employee

Following its successful entry into Florida in 2021, Kroger is set to provide more Americans with delivery through the addition of a spoke facility in Oklahoma City that is powered by Ocado.

“We’re excited to extend the Kroger fulfillment network to Oklahoma City, a new geography for our operation and an integral part of our strategy to achieve the doubling of our digital sales and profitability rate by the end of 2023,” Gabriel Arreaga, Kroger’s senior vice president and chief supply chain officer, said. “This grocery delivery service is an innovative addition to the expanding digital shopping experience available to our customers. The spoke facility will provide unmatched, impeccable customer service and improve direct access to fresh food in areas eager for the variety and value offered by Kroger.”

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The facility located on 8801 North I-35 Service Rd., in Oklahoma City will work alongside Dallas’ hub as a last-mile cross-dock location that efficiently expands the retailer’s grocery delivery services. The service is to be expanding to reach up to 200 miles from the hub, which is expected to become operational later this year and employ up to 191 full-time associates, the company said. 

“We are excited to welcome the country’s largest supermarket to Oklahoma that will further showcase our state's impressive distribution infrastructure,” Governor Kevin Stitt, said. “Kroger’s new e-commerce model is innovative, creates new fresh grocery opportunities for the Greater Oklahoma City region and paves the way for improving health and quality of life for Oklahomans.”

By expanding into Oklahoma City, the retailer will continue its partnership with Ocado. This builds upon the previously announced delivery network that combines artificial intelligence, advanced robotics and automation in a bold new way, bringing first-of-its-kind technology to America. 

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Each of the delivery networks relies on automated fulfillment centers, and the hub sites use more than 1,000 bots that work around giant 3D grids that are orchestrated by proprietary air-traffic control systems in the unlicensed spectrum. The grid, known as The Hive, contains totes with products and ready-to-deliver customer orders, the companies said. 

“We are thrilled to welcome Kroger to the Oklahoma City market,” Mayor of Oklahoma City David Holt, said. “This is a true win-win that will provide more grocery options for our citizens and good jobs for our community. We look forward to working with Kroger to ensure their success in Oklahoma City.”

As customers’ orders near their delivery times, the bots retrieve products from The Hive and are presented at pick stations for items to be sorted for delivery, a process governed by algorithms that ensure items are intelligently packed.

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“Kroger Delivery underpins the permanent shift in grocery consumer behavior and elevates our position as one of America's leading e-commerce companies,” Kroger chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen said.

After being packed, groceries are loaded into a temperature-controlled delivery van, which can store up to 20 orders. Powerful machine learning algorithms optimize delivery routes, considering factors such as road conditions and optimal fuel efficiency. Vans may travel up to 90 miles with orders from the hub and spoke facilities respectively to make deliveries. Associates at the spoke facility will deliver orders within their service area, adding ZIP codes as demand grows.

“We continue to be pleased with the rollout of our customer fulfillment centers in Groveland, Fla., and Monroe, Ohio, which are both exceeding internal expectations, and our most recent facility opening in Forest Park, Ga.,” Arreaga said. “We’ve experienced incredible Net Promoter Scores, and our customers tell us they love our friendly, professionally trained drivers and their refrigerated delivery vans that bring the freshest food directly to their doorsteps. We’re eager to continue expanding our fulfillment network and entering into both existing and new geographies through hub and spoke facilities.”

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Kroger unveiled its Monroe, Ohio customer fulfillment center in April 2021, its first, followed by centers in Groveland, Fla., and Forest Park, Ga.

The Dallas fulfillment center is slated to open this spring with additional customer fulfillment centers slated in Maryland, Arizona, Wisconsin, Michigan and Florida. 

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