The outlook is sunny for The Kroger Co. and online shoppers in south Florida. The retailer opened a new 60,000-square-foot spoke facility in the area to work in conjunction with its fulfillment center in Groveland, Fla.
The addition of the spoke facility will widen Kroger’s delivery service in the Miami area. After items – including fresh products – are picked at the Groveland facility, they will be sent on climate-controlled vehicles to Miami to be checked and placed on refrigerated delivery trucks to serve areas between Port St. Lucie in the north to Homestead in the south. According to Kroger, vans can travel up to 90 minutes with orders from the hub and spoke facilities to make deliveries.
[Read more: "5 Ways Kroger Aims to Up Its E-Commerce Game"]
Kroger worked with grocery tech partner Ocado Group to expand its delivery to South Florida. As with other hub and spoke facilities across Kroger’s operation, the delivery network combines artificial intelligence, advanced robotics and automation.
"We are thrilled to connect more Floridians to the Kroger Delivery shopping experience, which brings thousands of digital coupons, valuable fuel points and the freshest products directly to customers' doors," said Bill Bennett, VP and head of e-commerce at Kroger. "Whether they are using the Kroger app or browsing our weekly ad at Kroger.com, customers can enjoy fresh, high-quality, affordable groceries delivered by best-in-class uniformed drivers."
James Kohnstamm, EVP of the Miami-Dade Beacon Council, welcomed the business as it opened its doors. "We've been working closely with the Kroger team since they started looking to expand to South Florida and knew this was a geography that would offer significant growth potential," he remarked. "From a customer standpoint, we have over a million households and hundreds of new residents relocating to Miami each week. From a workforce standpoint, we have a deep bench of talent with expertise in cold chain and logistics management, as well as multiple startups dedicated to driving innovation in the trade and logistics space."
Kroger has continued to improve its fulfillment and delivery capabilities across the United States. In addition to its Groveland hub, the retailer currently operates fulfillment centers in Monroe, Ohio; Forest Park, Ga.; Pleasant Prairie, Wis.; Dallas; Romulus, Mich.; and Aurora, Colo. More centers are expected to come online in California; Frederick, Md.; Phoenix; Cleveland; Charlotte, N.C; and the Northeast.
Serving 60 million households annually nationwide through a digital shopping experience, and almost 2,800 retail food stores under a variety of banner names, Cincinnati-based Kroger is No. 4 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.