Kroger, Ocado opening first automated CFC

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Kroger, Ocado opening first automated CFC

The warehouse facility will feature digital and robotic capabilities.

The Kroger Co. and online grocer Ocado named the Cincinnati region as their selection for America's first automated customer fulfillment center (CFC). The warehouse facility will feature digital and robotic capabilities, allowing for next-generation automated storage and retrieval, according to Kroger.

Known as the "shed" — it will be constructed in Monroe, Ohio, a suburb north of Cincinnati, where Kroger is based. 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. It should open in about two years.

The CFC model will be replicated to serve customers across America, according to Kroger, which plans to open 20 CFCs to support its vision.

"Kroger is joining with the best partners in the world to co-innovate and leverage technology to redefine the customer experience," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO. "This Kroger shed, powered by Ocado, will accelerate our ability to provide customers with anything, anytime and anywhere."

Earlier this year, Kroger and UK-based Ocado announced an alliance to bring Ocado's innovation and technologies to the United States. In October, the companies signed a master services agreement to further solidify their partnership.