Grocery delivery just got bigger in the state of Texas. The Kroger Co. officially opened its latest customer fulfillment center in Dallas on July 28, with advanced robotics technologies and other features ultimately benefitting customers in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
Powered by the Ocado Group, this 350,000-square-foot fulfillment center can fill 18,000 order a day. The highly automated facility was designed to accommodate more than 1,000 robots that traverse large 3D grids (known as The Hive) to pick food from totes and carry them to an order assembly area. In this smart system, fragile items are placed on top, bags are evenly weighed and each order is optimized to fit into the lowest number of recyclable bags.
The Dallas fulfillment center will work in tandem with regional spoke sites in Austin, San Antonio and Oklahoma City. According to Kroger, the spoke facilities will serve as last-mile cross-decks that will expand and enhance delivery service, including items ordered from the new Boost by Kroger membership program.
"Kroger's fast-growing seamless ecosystem takes the promise of zero compromise to the next level, with Kroger Delivery bringing the freshest food and quality ingredients to your own doorstep — when you want it, how you want it," said Bill Bennett, VP and head of e-commerce for Kroger.
Added Ocado CEO Luke Jensen: “Our expanding fulfilment network is reaching more and more customers, bringing the benefits of our cutting-edge innovation to Kroger communities nationwide. Today's event marks the start of a service in Dallas that will bring a whole new standard of grocery experience to homes across Texas and beyond."
Throughout the development and hiring process, Kroger collaborated with the city of Dallas, the Governor's Office of Economic Development and Tourism, local and regional workforce solutions offices and school districts to support the project. According to local media reports, the City of Dallas okayed $5.7 in incentives for the estimated $55 million project.
"This new center is great news for the people of North Texas, offering the local community greater access to fresh, nutritious foods, and bringing good-paying jobs and economic opportunities to hardworking Texans in the area. I look forward to working alongside the company as we continue to keep Texas the best place to live, work, and raise a family,” commented Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
In late June, Kroger opened another customer fulfillment center in Pleasant Prairie, Wis., just over the border from Illinois. Kroger also collaborated with the Ocado Group on that 336,840-square-foot space. Now, Kroger operates customer fulfillment centers in Dallas; Pleasant Prairie; Monroe, Ohio; Groveland, Fla.; and Forest Park, Ga. Another site is in the works in the Denver area.
In what’s shaping up to be a busy summer, Kroger recently opened spoke facilities in Maywood, Ill., and Nashville, Tenn.
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.