Kroger and tech partner Ocado are building hub and spoke facilities, including a new center in Northern Colorado, to make deliveries more efficient.
While leaders at The Kroger Co. are sorting out the merger with Albertsons Cos., operations on the ground continue to change and improve. This week, Kroger opened a new spoke facility in northern Colorado.
The 57,000-square-foot site in the town of Johnstown allows the retailer to grow its digital footprint and better meet area shoppers’ needs. The hub will work in conjunction with the company’s hub fulfillment center in Aurora, Colo.
Serving customers who can purchase groceries online through the Boost by King Soopers program, a crew of about 70 employees at the Johnstown spoke will check orders picked and shipped from the Aurora fulfillment center. Orders are then placed on refrigerated trucks for local delivery, handled in a way that ensures that cold and frozen products remain at the ideal temperature from the supplier to the customer’s refrigerator.
"We look forward to connecting more customers in northern Colorado to Kroger Delivery, which brings the freshest products including Our Brands, directly to customers' doors," said Rebekah Manis, senior director, Kroger Delivery Fulfillment Centers. "Kroger Delivery enables us to meet our customers' unique needs and deliver value, like exceptional friendly service from our best-in-class uniformed drivers, and a personalized shopping experience with zero-compromise on convenience, value and selection."
Civic leaders welcomed the addition and the jobs it brings. "We couldn't be happier having Kroger establish a fulfillment center in our community," said Troy Mellon, the town council mayor of Johnstown. "Services like this help to not only create jobs in our community, but also allow us to focus on a core value of the town, which is to spend more time with family and friends and doing the activities we love in Colorado."
Like Kroger’s other hub and spoke facilities, this latest site was designed with grocery tech company Ocado Group. The hubs are equipped with bots that traverse 3D grids with fresh, shelf-stable and household products and use advanced AI to determine the optimal packing process. After sortation at the outlying spoke, orders are loaded into vans that can carry up to 20 orders.
Kroger continues to expand its fulfillment center network, planning to add more facilities in the short-term future. In addition to the hub in Aurora, the retailer operates fulfillment centers in Monroe, Ohio; Groveland, Fla.; Forest Park, Ga.; Pleasant Prairie, Wis.; Dallas; Romulus, Mich.; and Frederick, Md.