The Kroger Co., Cincinnati, and Ocado, UK, selected Cincinnati as the site for what is said to be the nation’s first high-tech customer fulfillment center (CFC).
"Kroger is joining with the best partners in the world to co-innovate and leverage technology to redefine the customer experience," says Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO. "We are incredibly excited to partner with Ocado to transform the industry and deliver on our Restock Kroger vision to serve America through food inspiration and uplift. This Kroger shed, powered by Ocado, will accelerate our ability to provide customers with anything, anytime and anywhere."
Kroger's first CFC – an automated warehouse facility with digital and robotic capabilities, also known as a "shed" – will be constructed in Monroe, Ohio, a suburb north of Cincinnati. Kroger is planning to open 20 CFCs, and will introduce innovative robotics technology, allowing for next-generation automated storage and retrieval.
Kroger is investing $55 million to build the first shed, which will measure 335,000 square feet and is expected to generate more than 410 new jobs.
"Kroger is committed to helping position Cincinnati and Ohio as a destination for digital and technology talent. We are proud to choose our HQ state of Ohio as the first location for this first-of-its-kind customer fulfillment center in the U.S.," says McMullen. "We thank Governor John Kasich, JobsOhio and REDI for enabling Kroger's $55 million capital investment and creation of 410 new Ohio jobs."
Earlier this year, Kroger and Ocado announced an alliance to increase online shopping capabilities.
"Ocado is a UK-based company with global ties and advanced digital and robotic capabilities. Working together, we will develop the strongest possible supply network to support a seamless customer experience that can serve every person in America," says Alex Tosolini, Kroger's senior vice president of new business development. "It's all about building a seamless supply chain to provide our customers with an amazing shopping experience."
"We are delighted to be supporting Kroger in its efforts to transform the service and value it brings to U.S. customers," says Luke Jensen, chief executive officer of Ocado Solutions. "Today's announcement of the first CFC is an important first step to making that happen. It's all the more exciting that this CFC will serve Kroger's hometown of Cincinnati."