Ocado and Kroger add fifth location for US expansion
Ocado and Kroger have revealed Dallas, Texas will be the fifth location for a Customer Fullfilment Centre (CFC) for the pair, after announcing a strategic partnership in 2018 to develop 20 CFCs in the US.
The centres will support the growth of Kroger’s grocery ecommerce business, which includes store pickup, same-day delivery in partnership with Instacart and a next-day consumables shipping programme, Kroger Ship.
To date Kroger has revealed new 335,000 sq ft CFC in Monroe, Ohio, near to the retailer’s Cincinnati HQ, which will become operational in 2021.
The $55 million (£43.38 million) facility will employ Ocado’s signature automated robotic systems while creating 400 jobs in the area.
This will be followed by expansion into Groveland, Florida, which is expected to launch in 2021, and will be the first Kroger in the Florida state. While Kroger will have an online-only presence, this will be a key test as to whether the brand can penetrate the market without operating any physical stores.
A new CFC in Forest Park in Georgia, will follow in 2021, in an area where Kroger has a strong physical presence.
There’s also been talk of a CFC opening in the Mid-Atlantic region, although the retailer has not announced a specific location.
And then on to Dallas, Texas, where Kroger and Ocado could be operating a new CFC in early 2022.
Kroger and Ocado announced their three-year partnership in May last year, with 20 CFC warehouses expected in the pipe-line as part of the partnership.
Last year Kroger saw digital sales jump 58 per cent as it expanded its online grocery delivery service to 91 per cent of households in its trade areas.