The Kroger Co. is investing $17 million in its 674,000-square-foot ambient distribution center on Mt. Zion Road in Florence, Ky., which the retailer said would accelerate production and create 250 new jobs, the majority of which will be full-time positions.
The distribution center, which currently employs 80 associates, opened in October 2017 after an initial $60 million investment to service Kroger’s direct-to-store distribution centers across the eastern half of the U.S., as well as to support its growing e-commerce and digital business.
As the latest multimillion-dollar outlay in a continuing series of developments as part of its Restock campaign, the “significant investment in the distribution facility and our associates will allow us to more efficiently reach our customers and help to deliver on new ways to shop with Kroger," said Frank Bruni, Kroger's VP of supply chain and logistics, in a statement.
Kroger’s $17 million investment in the distribution center is supported by a Kentucky Business Investment incentive of up to $1 million over 10 years. The company’s annual eligibility for the performance-based tax credit is linked to investment, job creation and retention, and average hourly wage targets.
Kentucky officials, including Gov. Matt Bevin, hailed the investment, which comes less than a year after Kroger opened the distribution center in Boone County, as evidence of the retailer’s recognition of “Northern Kentucky as the best possible location for further success and growth. Distribution and logistics is a thriving industry in the commonwealth, and this announcement is just the latest confirmation of that fact.”
Sen. John Schickel echoed the governor’s sentiments that Union Co. and northern Kentucky are on an “economic development roll and Kroger's investment builds on that success.”
Kroger today employs more than 21,000 associates in Kentucky. The distribution facility will begin hiring candidates for the new positions in September.