The Kroger Co. has revealed that the location of its second Ocado-powered Customer Fulfillment Center (CFC) will be in Groveland, Fla., west of Orlando. The automated warehouse facilities feature digital and robotic capabilities and aim to streamline e-commerce.
It remains to be seen how Kroger will brand a facility in this new market, where its presence is limited to only a few Lucky's Market stores in which it has a strategic investment and retailers such as Walmart and Publix dominate sales.
Kroger has committed to building 20 CFCs in the U.S. through its partnership with Ocado, debuting with a facility near the retailer's hometown of Cincinnati in Monroe, Ohio. The retailer also plans to build a facility in the Mid-Atlantic region but has not yet named a precise location.
Alex Tosolini, Kroger's SVP of new business development, said the Florida facility will help the retailer meet its goal of "leveraging advanced robotics technology and creative solutions to redefine the customer experience across America," adding that the retailer is eager to "transform the grocery experience for Central Florida residents through innovation and ingenuity."
The news of the Florida facility comes only days after U.K.-based e-commerce company Ocado announced it would open a U.S. office in Washington, D.C., in an effort to get closer to retail partners Kroger and Canada-based Sobeys.
The 375,000-square-foot Groveland CFC will be located at U.S. Highway 27 and American Way. The CFC is scheduled to break ground later this year and be operational sometime in 2021.