The Kroger Co. has announced the addition of a new customer fulfillment center in Aurora, Colorado, powered by the Ocado Group, which is engineering a model for the region, using advanced robotics technology and creative solutions.
“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.”
The almost 300,000 square-foot distribution center will bring nearly 400 new jobs to Aurora and adjacent communities.
“Adams County is excited to have this new state-of-the-art food distribution facility opening in our community,” said Lynn Baca, chair, 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.”
This expansion represents an extension of a partnership between Kroger and Ocado, a world leader in technology for grocery e-commerce. 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 delivery network relies on highly automated fulfillment centers. At the hub sites, more than 1,000 bots move around giant 3D grids, orchestrated by proprietary air-traffic control systems. The grid contains totes with products and ready-to-deliver customer orders. As customers’ orders near delivery times, the bots retrieve products and are presented at pick stations for items to be sorted for delivery.
Kroger operates customer fulfillment centers in Monroe, Ohio; Groveland, Florida; Forest Park, Georgia; Dallas, Texas; and Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, with additional customer fulfillment centers slated for California; Frederick, Maryland; Phoenix, Arizona; Romulus, Michigan; Cleveland, Ohio; Charlotte, North Carolina as well as South Florida and the Northeast.
For more information, visit thekrogerco.com.