The Kroger Co. said it's getting ready to open another fulfillment facility, this one in Oklahoma City, in another geographic expansion for the Cincinnati-based grocer.
The 50,000-square-foot facility, located on 8801 North I-35 Service Road, will serve as a "spoke" for Kroger's fulfillment hub in Dallas, according to a company news release. As a last-mile, cross-dock location, it will expand Kroger's grocery delivery services and extend the company's reach to customers up to 200 miles from the hub, Kroger stated. Powered by the Ocado Group, Kroger's U.K.-based tech partner for online-order fulfillment, the Oklahoma City location is set to begin operations later this year and will employ as many as 191 associates.
Coming less than a year after Kroger's delivery-based entry into Florida and after the announcement this month of a spoke facility in Louisville, Ky., the announcement of the new Oklahoma facility represents another geographic reach for Kroger.
"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," said Gabriel Arreaga, Kroger's chief supply chain officer, in a statement. "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."
State and local leaders praised the announcement of the new facility. In a statement, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt said the state is "excited to welcome the country's largest supermarket to Oklahoma" and that Kroger's Oklahoma debut "will further showcase our state's impressive distribution infrastructure." He lauded the grocer's e-commerce leadership and innovation and said Kroger's expansion creates "new fresh grocery opportunities for the greater Oklahoma City region and paves the way for improving health and quality of life for Oklahomans."
Echoing the comments, Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt called the new facility "a true win-win that will provide more grocery options for our citizens and good jobs for our community."
Last year, Kroger opened fulfillment centers in Monroe, Ohio; Groveland, Fla.; and Forest Park, Ga., outside Atlanta. The company said a Dallas fulfillment center is slated to open this spring; additional customer fulfillment centers are planned for Phoenix; Frederick, Md.; Pleasant Prairie, Wis., Romulus, Mich. (outside Detroit); and South Florida.