Kroger has announced the opening of a new spoke facility in Kentucky that will bring Kroger Delivery to serve more customers in the Louisville area, expanding access to the chain’s private label groceries.
Another facility operated in partnership with tech leader Ocado Group, the 50,000 square-foot facility will collaborate with the Customer Fulfillment Center in Monroe, Ohio and will serve as a last-mile cross-dock location delivery services. The spoke facility will employ up to 161 full-time associates.
"Kroger Delivery is part of our rapidly expanding seamless ecosystem that provides customers with fresh and quality products – anytime and anywhere," said Bill Bennett, Kroger VP and Head of E-Commerce. "We are thrilled to expand Kroger's offerings to more Louisville customers with a truly differentiated customer experience. Local Kentucky residents can use Kroger.com or the Kroger app to check the weekly circular, select personalized digital coupons, search products by dietary preference and ultimately place their order. Customers will enjoy receiving their orders directly from our refrigerated trucks and delivered by trained Kroger uniformed associates, giving customers an unparalleled first-class delivery experience."
This expansion represents an extension of a partnership between Kroger and Ocado. In 2018, the companies announced a collaboration to establish a delivery network that combines artificial intelligence and automation.
At the hub sites, more than 1,000 bots move around giant 3D grids, orchestrated by proprietary control systems. The grid, known as The Hive, contains totes 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 intelligently packed.
"Louisville has long been a driver of innovation in the logistics and in the food and beverage industries, and as such, Louisville is uniquely poised to fuel the workforce and innovation demands necessary to drive these industries into the future," said Mayor Greg Fischer. "I am excited to join our partners at Kroger to celebrate this new dynamic facility that will drive high-quality customer service."