The Kroger Co. revealed that the location of its third Ocado-run Customer Fulfillment Center, or "shed," will be in Forest Park, Ga., south of Atlanta. The automated warehouse facility will be equipped with digital and robotic capabilities with a goal of streamlining the e-commerce experience.
The announcement comes about a month after the retailer broke ground on its first shed in its home state of Ohio. Additionally, the retailer has a location planned in Groveland, Fla., west of Orlando, and has hinted at a facility somewhere in the mid-Atlantic region. Kroger and Ocado Solutions, the licensing arm of the British e-commerce innovator, have said they would build as many as 20 facilities across the U.S.
Tim Brown, president of Kroger's Atlanta division, said the facility will "provide Kroger the ability to bring customers across the coverage area fresher food faster than ever before." Cincinnati-based Kroger is the largest grocer by market share in the Atlanta metro area, according to Metro Market Studies.
The $55 million shed will be at 2000 Anvil Block Road in the Gillem Logistics Center and occupy 375,000 square feet. It is scheduled to break ground later this year and be in operation by 2021.
It remains to be seen exactly how these robotic facilities will fit into Kroger's operations, but a recent soft launch of a next-day grocery delivery e-commerce app in the region of the first Ocado Customer Fulfillment Center looks similar to one launched by Ocado in the U.K. and may provide some clues. Read more here.