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Kroger Streamlines, Modernizes Direct Store Delivery Systems

Partnership with Itasca Retail to focus on automating receiving solutions
Emily Crowe, Progressive Grocer
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Kroger is overhauling its direct store delivery system with the help of Itasca Retail.

Inventory intelligence technology company Itasca Retail is helping The Kroger Co. modernize its software system for receiving deliveries. The upgrades will automate several receiving tasks but retain core functionality that is familiar to store associates across the retailer’s 2,800 locations.

The receiving solution will focus on products that arrive through direct store delivery, such as bread, dairy, beer and soft drinks. According to Itasca, direct-store-delivery accounts for about one-third of the volume sold in supermarkets across the U.S. 

“Process simplification and modernization is a priority for Kroger,” said Chris Harris, director of asset protection and safety for Kroger. “Itasca’s software will be essential to this journey and will improve daily job functions for our associates.”

Employing this type of functionality helps retailers simplify day-to-day tasks for associates, making it easier for them to focus on the customer experience.

“We like to describe our solution as ‘Total DSD Management,’” said Jeff Kennedy, president of West Des Moines, Iowa-based Itasca Retail. “It creates a closed-loop process from order creation through receiving, allowing retailers to measure vendor service levels easily. We are proud that Kroger has put its trust in us to deliver the enhanced direct-store-delivery functionality they require to provide their shoppers with the best possible service levels.” 

Kroger is further utilizing technology to expand its presence and delivery network in South Florida and Central Ohio with the addition of state-of-the-art, Ocado-powered fulfillment centers in the regions. Additional centers are slated for California; Frederick, Md.; Phoenix; Pleasant Prairie, Wis.; Romulus, Mich.; 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.

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