Kroger customers in metro Detroit will now have greater access to the retail giant’s private label assortment just in time for the holidays. Kroger has officially opened its newest Customer Fulfillment Center in Romulus, Mich., joining the network of fulfillment centers and spoke facilities around the country.
The new center is the latest to be powered by the Ocado Group, leveraging robotics technology at the approximately 135,000-square-foot facility. The new Customer Fulfillment Center will employ more than 700 associates and allow for grocery delivery up to 90 miles from the site.
"Kroger has served customers in the state of Michigan for more than a century and we are thrilled to bring Kroger Delivery to greater Detroit," said Bill Bennett, Kroger VP and head of e-commerce. "We are passionate about delivering a fresh, convenient customer shopping experience with zero compromise on quality, selection, and affordability. From the refrigerated trucks, to the trained and uniformed drivers, to the white glove delivery experience at the door, Kroger Delivery brings that same zero compromise experience to a new delivery option for customers.”
At the Kroger Customer Fulfillment Centers, more than 1,000 bots move around giant 3D grids, orchestrated by Ocado Group control systems. The grid, known as The Hive, contains totes filled with products and ready-to-deliver customer orders. As customers' orders near delivery times, bots retrieve products from The Hive and present them at pick stations for items to be sorted for delivery, a process governed by algorithms that ensure items are packed correctly.
"Wayne County is proud to be a leader in defining the future of grocery shopping," said Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans. "The Kroger Fulfillment Center, the first in Michigan, will be a tremendous service for our residents to help them manage their busy lives."
The expansion in metro Detroit follows Kroger’s announced agreement with Albertsons Companies to merge. Pending regulatory approval, the deal is valued at approximately $24.6 billion, which includes the assumption of approximately $4.7 billion of Albertsons debt by Kroger.