American grocery juggernaut Kroger has selected its hometown of Cincinnati for its first automated customer fulfilment centre (CFC), powered by British ecommerce firm Ocado’s advanced tech capabilities
Announced in a 19 November press release, Kroger’s first automated CFC, or “shed”, will be a high-tech automated facility augmented with digital and robotic technologies to facilitate seamless operations.
“We are incredibly excited to partner with Ocado to transform the industry and deliver on our Restock Kroger vision to serve America through food inspiration and uplift,” said Rodney McMullen, Chairman and CEO of Kroger, in the company’s press release.
“This Kroger shed, powered by Ocado, will accelerate our ability to provide customers with anything, anytime and anywhere.”
The facility will be based north of Cincinnati in the Monroe suburb, with the model set for replication in 20 other locations across the US as Kroger launches the digital transformation initiative nationwide.
In its statement, Kroger said it will be investing US$55mn in the flagship facility and expects it to create 410 jobs.
"Ocado is a UK-based company with global ties and advanced digital and robotic capabilities. Working together, we will develop the strongest possible supply network to support a seamless customer experience that can serve every person in America," said Alex Tosolini, SVP of New Business Development at Kroger.
"It's all about building a seamless supply chain to provide our customers with an amazing shopping experience."
Ocado and Kroger entered an alliance together earlier this year, solidifying the partnership in October with a master services agreement, in order for Kroger to leverage Ocado’s significant technological capabilities across its digital transformation endeavours.
Luke Jensen, CEO of Ocado Solutions, added:
“We are delighted to be supporting Kroger in its efforts to transform the service and value it brings to U.S. customers."
"Today's announcement of the first CFC is an important first step to making that happen. It's all the more exciting that this CFC will serve Kroger's hometown of Cincinnati."