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02/04/2022

Kroger’s Georgia Fulfillment Center Is Open for Business

CFC provides region with e-commerce delivery that combines vertical integration, machine learning and robotics
Marian Zboraj
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Kroger’s Georgia Fulfillment Center Is Open for Business
Kroger official opened its customer fulfillment center in Forest Park, Ga., a city south of Atlanta.

Shoppers in the Peach State can now get fresh food, household essentials and personal care items delivered by The Kroger Co. The food retailer officially opened its customer fulfillment center (CFC) on Feb. 4 in Forest Park, Ga., a city south of Atlanta.

"We're proud to launch Kroger Delivery in metro Atlanta with future expansion plans throughout Georgia and beyond, a true milestone moment further accelerating our ability to provide our customers with fresh food on their doorsteps and create more job opportunities," said Gabriel Arreaga, Kroger's SVP and chief supply chain officer. "We greatly appreciate the support of Governor Brian Kemp, the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Clayton County Board of Commissioners, and Forest Park Mayor Angelyne Butler. This group's collaboration and commitment has provided the infrastructure to advance an innovative and industry-leading e-commerce operation, providing groceries to homes across the region, including in communities without physical stores."

Powered by grocery tech partner Ocado Group, the Forest Park CFC can fulfill thousands of orders per day. In these highly automated CFCs, more than 1,000 bots whizz around giant 3D grids, orchestrated by proprietary air-traffic control systems in the unlicensed spectrum. The grid, known as The Hive, contains totes with products and ready-to-deliver customer orders.

As customers' orders near their delivery times, the bots retrieve products from The Hive, which are presented at stations for items to be sorted for delivery, a process governed by algorithms that ensures items are intelligently sorted.

Once completed, orders are loaded into a temperature-controlled Kroger Delivery van, which can store up to 20 orders. Powerful machine learning algorithms dynamically optimize delivery routes, considering factors like road conditions and optimal fuel efficiency. Kroger Delivery enables coverage of up to 90 miles from the hub location in Forest Park.

"Kroger is uniquely positioned to transform grocery e-commerce throughout the region using a vertically integrated network to provide a reliable and consistent fresh food delivery service that repeatedly receives favorable customer feedback like a best-in-class Net Promoter Score," said Bill Bennett, Kroger VP and head of e-commerce.

The opening of the Forest Park CFC follows another e-commerce achievement for the retailer in the area, the recent launch of the Boost by Kroger Plus annual membership program. For either $59 or $99 per year, Boost provides customers access to benefits like free delivery and the opportunity to earn up to $1 off per gallon of fuel twice as often.

Additionally, during the Forest Park launch period, new e-commerce customers are invited to try the Kroger service and receive $15 off their first three delivery orders of $75 or more using this promotional link

The Forest Park CFC currently employs more than 250 associates and continues to hire, with roles focusing on customer service and engagement, engineering, operations, inventory and quality management, and transportation. To view available careers, visit Jobs.Kroger.com.

"Kroger and Ocado are revolutionizing the online grocery landscape across the U.S. This CFC brings some of the most innovative technology available anywhere in the world to the heart of Georgia, enhancing Kroger's online ecosystem in the state, and delivering a market-leading quality of service online to Kroger customers here. It is also generating amazing opportunities for engineers based in Atlanta to work with cutting-edge robotics and AI systems, enabling essential grocery services for communities across the state," said Luke Jensen, CEO of Ocado, which is headquartered in the United Kingdom.

Kroger also recently announced plans to expand its robotic grocery fulfillment to Louisville, Ky.

Cincinnati-based Kroger is No. 3 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America

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