Kroger announced two new spoke facilities in Nashville and the Chicago metropolitan area that will serve as last-mile cross-dock locations.
The new spokes will operate as a seamless extension of regional fulfillment centers, making Kroger Delivery available to more customers in Tennessee and Illinois, said the company in a press release.
“Kroger Delivery promises an unparalleled shopping and delivery experience, making fresh just one click away at Kroger.com or the Kroger app,” said Bill Bennett, Vice President and Head of E-commerce. “From personalized digital offers to our white glove delivery service, the Kroger seamless ecosystem saves time and money. Kroger Delivery orders are brought to customers in our branded delivery trucks and delivered to their doorstep by our trained and uniformed associates, all with zero compromises.”
The supermarket chain added that local shoppers could also access the newly launched Boost by Kroger annual membership program. For either $59 or $99 per year, Boost provides customers with benefits like unlimited free delivery on orders of $35 or more and two Fuel Points for every $1 spent on groceries and general merchandise purchases through Delivery, Pickup, and in-stores. Kroger estimates the membership can save customers more than $1,000 per year on fuel and grocery delivery.
The approximately 40,000-square-foot facility located on Polk Avenue in Nashville, Tennessee, will work in conjunction with the Atlanta fulfillment center, increasing the network’s reach to customers up to 200 miles from the hub, and will employ more than 180 associates.
“Tennessee is defined by the brands that call our state home, so we are proud to partner with the Kroger Delivery team as the company establishes and opens its operations in Davidson County. Nashville’s pro-business climate and central location will be vital in helping Kroger expand its customer delivery reach across the Southeast for years to come,” said Stuart McWhorter, Tennessee Economic & Community Development Commissioner.
The second spoke facility is located about 20 miles west of Chicago in Maywood, Illinois. This nearly 80,000-square-foot facility will work concurrently with the fulfillment center in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin. The site expects to employ more than 180 associates.
“Kroger facility replaces a blighted area while adding new jobs and revenues that aid in revitalizing our community. We are happy to welcome a partner that works to address our food desert designation and look to evolving collaboration with them,” said Maywood Mayor Nathaniel George Booker.
The expansion in Greater Nashville and the Chicago Metro Area represents an extension of a partnership between Kroger and Ocado Group, a world leader in technology for grocery e-commerce.
Powerful machine learning algorithms optimize delivery routes, considering factors such as road conditions and optimal fuel efficiency. Vans may travel up to 90 miles with orders from the hub and spoke facilities to make deliveries.
“The continued expansion of the Kroger fulfillment network means improved access to fresh food for customers eager for the variety and value offered by Kroger that once could only be accessed through our stores,” said Gabriel Arreaga, Kroger’s Senior Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer. “This network enables Kroger to add scale, achieve reliability of experience, gain from the benefits of automation, and ultimately widen our customer reach in current operating regions and new parts of the U.S.”