The Kroger Co. is bringing its Ocado building spree to the Dairy State.
The retailer said it would begin construction of a 350,000-square-foot customer fulfillment center in Pleasant Prairie, Wis. The center, expected be complete in two years, will support rapid fulfillment of e-commerce food orders for shoppers of Pick 'n Save and Mariano’s banners operating under Kroger’s Milwaukee-based Roundy’s division. The centers utilize Ocado’s state-of-the-art robotics and software.
“Through our strategic partnership, we are engineering a model for the region, leveraging advanced robotics technology and creative solutions to redefine the customer experience for our customers in Wisconsin and Illinois,” said Robert Clark, SVP of supply chain, manufacturing and sourcing for Cincinnati-based Kroger.
The center is the sixth facility announced by Kroger and Ocado since they broke ground in Monroe, Ohio, on their first project in June. It has since announced additional locations in Florida, Georgia and Texas, as well as the Mid-Atlantic region. Kroger anticipates building as many as 20 centers in the U.S.
“We are excited to bring Kroger and Ocado's latest automated warehouse to Pleasant Prairie. As this site develops and goes live, it will be instrumental in delivering fantastic grocery experiences and exciting job opportunities to households across Chicago, Milwaukee and beyond," said Luke Jensen, CEO of Ocado Solutions. “Today’s announcement marks another big milestone on the road to developing a seamless fulfillment ecosystem for Kroger customers across the United States. Ocado’s proven technology will allow Kroger to achieve the lowest cost-to-serve in the market, combined with the best freshness, accuracy and service.”
“This project expands Kroger’s commitment to continued investment in Wisconsin and Illinois. With this cutting-edge technology, Kroger is confident our partnership with Ocado will play an integral role in the continued commerce growth of this dynamic region,” added Michael Marx, president of Roundy's. “This transformative fulfillment center will create local jobs and accelerate Kroger's ability to expand our products and services to a larger footprint, providing customers with anything, anytime, anywhere.”