The Kroger Co. has opened a new customer fulfillment center in Forest Park, Georgia, powered by Ocado Group. This center serves an expansion of Kroger’s national fulfillment network, providing the region with an e-commerce delivery service that combines vertical integration, machine learning and robotics with fast delivery of grocery items and fresh food.
“We’re proud to launch Kroger Delivery in metro Atlanta with future expansion plans throughout Georgia and beyond, a true milestone moment further accelerating our ability to provide our customers with fresh food on their doorsteps and create more job opportunities,” said Gabriel Arreaga, Kroger’s SVP and chief supply chain officer. “We greatly appreciate the support of Gov. Brian Kemp, the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Clayton County Board of Commissioners and Forest Park Mayor Angelyne Butler.
“This group’s collaboration and commitment has provided the infrastructure to advance an innovative and industry-leading e-commerce operation, providing groceries to homes across the region, including in communities without physical stores.”
“As a growing hub for technology and logistics innovations, the Peach State is proud to celebrate the opening of this new facility that will bring the latest in grocery delivery to hardworking Georgians,” Kemp said. “Georgia’s pro-business environment and highly skilled workforce will continue to attract the companies and innovators building the infrastructure and jobs of tomorrow.”
Kroger Delivery Customer Experience
After placing an order online via kroger.com or the Kroger app, customers in regions where a CFC is located have groceries delivered by a Kroger delivery associate in a temperature-controlled van. The associate delivers industry-leading customer service, including ensuring order freshness and satisfaction, managing order changes and informing customers of loyalty membership benefits like digital coupon savings and fuel points through a partnership with Shell.
“Kroger is uniquely positioned to transform grocery e-commerce throughout the region using a vertically integrated network to provide a reliable and consistent fresh food delivery service that repeatedly receives favorable customer feedback like a best-in-class Net Promoter Score,” said Bill Bennett, Kroger VP and head of e-commerce. “Kroger’s unique service delivers fresh food, household essentials and personal care for as little as $6.95.”
The opening of the Forest Park CFC follows another e-commerce achievement for the retailer in the area, the recent launch of the Boost by Kroger Plus annual membership program. For either $59 or $99 per year, Boost provides customers access to benefits like free delivery and the opportunity to earn up to $1 off per gallon of fuel twice as often.
During the launch period, new e-commerce customers are invited to try the service and receive $15 off their first three delivery orders of $75 or more using this promotional link.
Kroger Delivery Operations
The launch in metro Atlanta 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, advanced robotics and automation in a bold new way, bringing first-of-its-kind technology to America.
The Forest Park fulfillment center will carry thousands of popular grocery products and represents one of the models engineered for the flexible Kroger fulfillment network. The CFC can fulfill thousands of orders per day.
Kroger Delivery is a vertically integrated network, enabling coverage of up to 90 miles from the hub location in Forest Park. In these highly automated CFCs, more than 1,000 bots whizz around giant 3D grids, orchestrated by proprietary air-traffic control systems in the unlicensed spectrum. The grid, known as The Hive, contains totes with products and ready-to-deliver customer orders.
As customers’ orders near their delivery times, the bots retrieve products from The Hive which are presented at stations for items to be sorted for delivery, a process governed by algorithms that ensures items are intelligently sorted. Once completed, orders are loaded into a temperature-controlled Kroger Delivery van, which can store up to 20 orders. Machine learning algorithms optimize delivery routes, considering factors like road conditions and optimal fuel efficiency.
“Kroger Delivery provides reliably fresh food in a convenient, innovative way. We are excited to deliver Kroger’s exclusive brands and Private Selection throughout metro Atlanta,” said David Matthews, Kroger’s general manager of the Forest Park Customer Fulfillment Center. “The new customer fulfillment center will introduce Kroger delivery to both existing and new customers, accelerate our e-commerce capabilities, and create hundreds of new career opportunities from our centralized location here in Forest Park.”
The Forest Park location joins fulfillment centers in Groveland, Florida and Monroe, Ohio.
For more information, visit thekrogerco.com.