Kroger, America’s largest grocery retailer, and Ocado, one of the world’s largest dedicated online grocery retailers, broke ground on America’s second customer fulfillment center (CFC), located in Groveland, FL – a new market for the retailer.
Kroger’s first CFC – an automated warehouse facility with digital and robotic capabilities, also known as a shed – is being constructed in Monroe, OH. The CFC model is now being replicated in Groveland and will continue in cities across the United States to serve customers.
“Kroger is excited to enter Florida to redefine the customer experience through our industry-leading partnership with Ocado,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO. “There’s a substantial demand for Kroger products and services in the state, and we’re eager to offer a new and seamless experience through the customer fulfillment center, leveraging advanced robotics technology and creative solutions to provide customers with anything, anytime, anywhere.”
Kroger is investing $55 million to build the CFC located at 7925 American Way in Groveland, which will measure up to 375,000 square feet and is expected to generate up to 400 new jobs. The automated warehouse will become operational in 2021.
“As they enter Florida for the first time, Kroger is breaking ground in more ways than one, and I am delighted to bring Ocado’s world-class technology to its operations in such an important market. Our partnership is also creating exciting opportunities for technologists and engineers to work with Ocado’s cutting-edge robotics and automation. As this site develops, we look forward to welcoming new talent to our skilled, dedicated and growing teams across the United States,” said Tim Steiner, CEO of Ocado Group.
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“We are excited about the opportunities Kroger’s state-of-the-art customer fulfillment center will bring to Lake County,” said Tracy Garcia, director, Elevate Lake Economic Development. “The jobs being created are an important factor, as it adds more vibrancy to our community. This will enable many of the 62,000 residents that travel elsewhere for work to stay closer to home for quality employment; trading precious commute time for quality personal time.”
During the groundbreaking ceremony, Kroger presented $10,000 to the Faith Neighborhood Center Food Bank, a South Lake County hunger-relief agency. Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste donation will be used to establish a food market inside Windy Hill Middle School, enabling it to have a fully-stocked pantry for students who need food assistance during the upcoming school year.
“The City of Groveland is thrilled to partner with Kroger and Ocado,” said Groveland Mayor Evelyn Wilson. “We share their values of customer service, commitment to excellence and demonstrated concern for people and the environment, all fitting perfectly with Groveland and our shared future.” Kroger intends to open 20 CFCs as it transforms to become an omnichannel retailer. Two additional sites have been named in Forest Park, GA and the Mid-Atlantic region.