After much ado about The Kroger Co.’s partnership with U.K.-based e-commerce company Ocado to build 20 automated customer fulfillment centers across the U.S., ground has been broken on the first facility in the retailer’s home state of Ohio.
Chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen said the progress on the Monroe, Ohio, facility (also known as a “shed”) represents a “meaningful milestone” in the Restock Kroger initiative, adding that the efforts are poised to “introduce transformative e-commerce, fulfillment and logistics technology in the U.S. and bring customers fresher food faster than ever before.”
The Monroe shed, complete with digital and robotic capabilities, represents a $55 million investment from Kroger. It will measure 335,000 square feet and is expected to create 400 new jobs for the region.
Kroger and Ocado announced their partnership in May 2018. They said additional facilities will be built in central Florida and the Mid-Atlantic region, with the remaining locations still under wraps.
Luke Jensen, CEO of Ocado Solutions, praised Kroger for the progress. "In a fast-developing landscape for grocery retail, Kroger's determination to continue delivering the best experience for its customers, online as in stores, is unparalleled,” he said.
It's official! Today we joined with @Ocado to break ground on our first customer fulfillment center in the U.S., opening 2021. Our partnership will introduce transformative ecommerce, fulfillment and logistics technology and bring customers fresher food faster than ever before. pic.twitter.com/4TRMW3p5lZ— Kroger News (@KrogerNews) June 12, 2019