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Kroger breaks ground on first U.S. high-tech customer fulfillment center

The Kroger Co. and Ocado, one of the world's largest dedicated online grocery retailers, broke ground on America's first customer fulfillment center.krolo

"Kroger is incredibly excited to reach this meaningful milestone in our Restock Kroger vision to serve America through food inspiration and uplift," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and chief executive officer. "Our partnership with Ocado will introduce transformative ecommerce, fulfillment and logistics technology in the U.S. and bring customers fresher food faster than ever before, accelerating our ability to provide anything, anytime, anywhere."

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 will be replicated to serve customers across America. Kroger intends to open 20 CFCs to support its vision to create a seamless customer experience. Two additional sites have been selected in the Central Florida and Mid-Atlantic regions.

Kroger is investing $55 million to build its first shed, which will measure 335,000 square feet and is expected to generate more than 400 new jobs.

"This is a historic moment for our partnership. With construction starting for Kroger's first customer fulfillment center in the Cincinnati region, we are now well on the way to a nationwide revolution in how Kroger customers experience ecommerce," 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. I am excited that we will shortly bring the world-class innovation of the Ocado Smart Platform to their operations, as well as create exciting opportunities for engineers and technologists across the country to work with Ocado's cutting edge robotics and automation."

"Ohio is a premier destination for businesses to grow, and I welcome Kroger and Ocado's decision to choose the Cincinnati region for this exciting project," said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. "This is a state-of-the-art facility that represents the intersection of Ohio's budding tech and food sectors and the next step in advancing Kroger customers' shopping experiences."

"Kroger is proud to choose our home state of Ohio as the location for the first-of-its-kind customer fulfillment center in America," said McMullen. "We thank Governor Mike DeWine, JobsOhio, REDI and the Monroe City Council for supporting this project. Kroger is committed to helping position Ohio, Cincinnati and our region as landmarks for innovation, further advancing the area's digital and technology ecosystem."