The Kroger Co. has broken ground on its second Ocado robotic customer fulfillment center (CFC) in Groveland, Fla., signifying the start of a new market for the company.
While Kroger doesn't have a physical presence in Florida beyond its investment in Lucky's Markets, the new CFC could provide e-commerce capabilities in the region.
Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO, said Kroger would offer a "new and seamless experience through the customer fulfillment center, leveraging advanced robotics technology and creative solutions."
McMullen added that the retailer is excited to enter Florida, because there is a "substantial demand for Kroger products and services in the state."
Ocado Group CEO Tim Steiner said Kroger's move into the Florida market means that it is "breaking ground in more ways than one."
"[It's] another significant milestone for Kroger and Ocado, and a big step toward a nationwide revolution in how Kroger customers experience grocery e-commerce," he said.
Kroger broke ground on its first Ocado CFC in its hometown of Cincinnati in June. The retailer also recently revealed that the location of its third CFC will be in Forest Park, Ga., south of Atlanta. The retailer is committed to building 20 of these "sheds," across the country, and has hinted that another is planned for somewhere in the mid-Atlantic region.
During the Florida groundbreaking ceremony, Kroger presented $10,000 to the Faith Neighborhood Center Food Bank, a South Lake County hunger-relief agency, to support its Zero Hunger, Zero Waste initiative.