Kroger and Ocado Group Expand West

The retailer's newest fulfillment center powered by the U.K.-based company will operate in Aurora, a suburb of Denver, Colo.
Zachary Russell
Associate Editor
Zachary Russell profile picture

Kroger is continuing to expand its fulfillment network, providing greater access to its own brand products. The grocer’s latest e-commerce expansion will take place in Aurora, Colo., with a new fulfillment center powered by the Ocado Group.

First covered by Store Brands’ sister publication Progressive Grocer, the groundbreaking for the nearly 300,000-square-foot distribution facility will occur soon. Once completed, it will bring nearly 400 new jobs to Aurora and the greater Denver area.

In 2018, Kroger and the Ocado Group revealed a collaboration to establish a delivery network that combines artificial intelligence, advanced robotics and automation in a new way, bringing first-of-its-kind technology to the United States.

“We are thrilled to expand and introduce our innovative Kroger fulfillment network to one of the fastest-growing areas in the country and have the opportunity to grow our workforce," said Gabriel Arreaga, Kroger's SVP and chief supply chain officer. "Through the incredible partnership and support from the city of Aurora and Adams County, Kroger Delivery can accelerate its commitment to provide exceptional customer service through our state-of-the-art facility and end-to-end cold solutions, including custom-built refrigerated vans, to ensure our delivery customers receive the freshest products directly to their doorstep throughout the Denver region."

After being packed, groceries are loaded into a refrigerated delivery van, which can store up to 20 orders. Machine-learning algorithms optimize delivery routes, considering factors like road conditions and optimal fuel efficiency. Drivers may travel up to 90 miles with orders from facilities to make deliveries.

"Adams County is excited to have this new state-of-the-art food distribution facility opening in our community," said Lynn Baca, chair of the Adams County Board of Commissioners. "Not only will it showcase innovative sorting technology, it will also help provide greater access to high-quality food and fresh produce for our residents. Providing a delivery option will also benefit those in our community who may have mobility issues or simply lack the time to go into a physical location."