Kroger launched its spoke facility in Indianapolis in December 2021.
The Kroger Co. is looking to build upon its successful entry into Florida in 2021 with a spoke facility in Oklahoma, another new geography for the company to introduce its modern e-commerce service.
Expected to be operational later this year, the 50,000-square-foot spoke facility is located on 8801 North I-35 Service Road, in Oklahoma City. It will collaborate with the hub in Dallas (slated to open this spring), serving as a last-mile cross-dock location that expands Kroger's grocery delivery services and extends its reach to customers up to 200 miles from the hub. Powered by U.K.-based technology companyOcado Group, the facility will employ up to 191 full-time associates.
"We’re excited to extend the Kroger fulfillment network to Oklahoma City, a new geography for our operation and an integral part of our strategy to achieve the doubling of our digital sales and profitability rate by the end of 2023," said Gabriel Arreaga, Kroger’s SVP and chief supply chain officer. "This grocery delivery service is an innovative addition to the expanding digital shopping experience available to our customers. The spoke facility will provide unmatched, impeccable customer service and improve direct access to fresh food in areas eager for the variety and value offered by Kroger."
The Kroger delivery network relies on highly automated hub sites, where more than 1,000 bots operate on giant 3D grids orchestrated by proprietary air-traffic control systems. The grid, known as "The Hive," contains totes with products and ready-to-deliver customer orders. When it’s time for delivery, machine-learning algorithms optimize van routes, considering factors such as road conditions and optimal fuel efficiency.
Kroger Chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen said that Kroger delivery "underpins the permanent shift in grocery consumer behavior and elevates our position as one of America’s leading e-commerce companies." Through the delivery network, the company now serves customers in Florida, as an example, without traditional brick-and-mortar stores.
"We continue to be pleased with the rollout of our customer fulfillment centers in Groveland, Fla., and Monroe, Ohio, which are both exceeding internal expectations, and our most recent facility opening in Forest Park, Ga.," added Arreaga. "We’ve experienced incredible Net Promoter Scores, and our customers tell us they love our friendly, professionally trained drivers and their refrigerated delivery vans that bring the freshest food directly to their doorsteps. We’re eager to continue expanding our fulfillment network and entering into both existing and new geographies through hub-and-spoke facilities."
Additional customer fulfillment centers are slated for California; Phoenix; Frederick, Md.; Pleasant Prairie, Wis.; and Romulus, Mich. (Detroit); as well as South Florida and the Northeast and West.
Cincinnati-based Kroger employs nearly half a million associates who serve more than 11 million-plus customers daily through a digital shopping experience and retail food stores under a variety of banner names. The company is No. 3 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.