Kroger and online grocery retailer Ocado announced plans for a new high-tech customer fulfillment center (CFC) in Forest Park, Georgia, a $55 million investment that will create more than 400 new jobs.
“Kroger is incredibly excited to construct one of our industry-leading Customer Fulfillment Centers in Forest Park—a city south of Atlanta—through our relationship with Ocado,” said Robert Clark, Kroger’s senior vice president of supply chain, manufacturing and sourcing. “Through our strategic partnership, we are leveraging advanced robotics technology and creative solutions to redefine the customer experience across America.”
Kroger has committed to building 20 CFCs, powered by Ocado, across the United States.
The customer fulfillment center model is an automated warehouse facility with digital and robotic capabilities, also known as a “shed”. Last month, Kroger broke ground on America’s first CFC, which is being constructed in Monroe, Ohio.
“Kroger and Ocado’s first customer fulfillment center in Metro Atlanta will transform the ecommerce experience for customers in the region,” said Luke Jensen, CEO of Ocado Solutions. “In a fast-developing landscape for grocery retail, Kroger’s determination to continue delivering the best experience for its customers, online as in stores, is unparalleled.”
The CFC is scheduled to break ground on the Forest Park center later this year and be operational in 2021.
The new customer fulfillment center will provide Kroger the ability to bring customers across the coverage area fresher food faster than ever before, according to Tim Brown, president of Kroger’s Atlanta division.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp stressed that his state has emerged as a hub for technology and innovation, with access to an important logistics infrastructure and skilled workforce. “I have no doubt that this new distribution center will allow Kroger to carry its operations to new heights,” said Kemp.
Kroger’s announcement comes as Clayton County has successfully cut its unemployment by more than half, though its rate is still the highest in metro Atlanta at 4.3 percent, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
“On behalf of the governing body and residents of Forest Park, I want to thank Kroger and Ocado for trusting the great City of Forest Park with their investment. We look forward to nurturing and growing this relationship into a limitless future,” said Forest Park Mayor Angelyne Butler. “In my State of the City Address, I told all present that ‘It was a New Day in Forest Park’ and it is our time to ‘Operate in Our Promise.’ A promise of economic and social prosperity for the entire city. It is partnerships like this that affirm we are one step closer to our Promise.”
“Having Kroger’s new customer fulfillment center in Forest Park is not only great for the Forest Park community but also for Clayton County and the Atlanta Metro South area,” says Forest Park City Manager Angela Redding.
The Forest Park customer fulfillment center will be located at 2000 Anvil Block Road in the Gillem Logistics Center and occupy 375,000 square feet.