$55 million investment expected to create more than 400 new jobs
Atlanta, GA /PRNewswire/ - The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), America's largest grocery retailer, and Ocado (LSE: OCDO), one of the world's largest dedicated online grocery retailers, today announced plans for a new high-tech customer fulfillment center (CFC) in Forest Park, Georgia, a $55 million investment that will create more than 400 new jobs.
"Kroger is incredibly excited to construct one of our industry-leading Customer Fulfillment Centers in Forest Park—a city south of Atlanta—through our relationship with Ocado," said Robert Clark, Kroger's senior vice president of supply chain, manufacturing and sourcing. "Through our strategic partnership, we are leveraging advanced robotics technology and creative solutions to redefine the customer experience across America."
Kroger has committed to building 20 CFCs, powered by Ocado, to accelerate its ability to provide customers with anything, anytime and anywhere. The CFC model – an automated warehouse facility with digital and robotic capabilities, also known as a "shed" – will be replicated to serve customers across America. Last month, Kroger broke ground on America's first CFC, which is being constructed in Monroe, Ohio.
"Kroger and Ocado's first customer fulfillment center in Metro Atlanta will transform the ecommerce experience for customers in the region," said Luke Jensen, CEO of Ocado Solutions. "In a fast-developing landscape for grocery retail, Kroger's determination to continue delivering the best experience for its customers, online as in stores, is unparalleled."
"The new facility will provide Kroger the ability to bring customers across the coverage area fresher food faster than ever before," said Tim Brown, president of Kroger's Atlanta division. "I'm thrilled the Atlanta market was selected as one of the 20 CFC sites, and this location is a tribute to the commitment and enthusiasm Kroger has for the City of Forest Park, Clayton County and State of Georgia."
"I am so excited that Kroger and Ocado are bringing this facility to Forest Park," said Georgia Governor Brian Kemp. "Georgia has emerged as a hub for technology and innovation, and with access to our unrivaled logistics infrastructure and skilled workforce, I have no doubt that this new distribution center will allow Kroger to carry its operations to new heights."
"On behalf of the governing body and residents of Forest Park, I want to thank Kroger and Ocado for trusting the great City of Forest Park with their investment. We look forward to nurturing and growing this relationship into a limitless future," said Forest Park Mayor Angelyne Butler. "In my State of the City Address, I told all present that 'It was a New Day in Forest Park' and it is our time to 'Operate in Our Promise.' A promise of economic and social prosperity for the entire city. It is partnerships like this that affirm we are one step closer to our Promise."
"Having Kroger's new customer fulfillment center in Forest Park is not only great for the Forest Park community but also for Clayton County and the Atlanta Metro South area," says Forest Park City Manager Angela Redding.
"This announcement by Kroger and Ocado is a testament to the strength of Georgia's business climate and the draw of our talent and logistics," said GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson. "We are looking forward to watching the success of this new facility as they ramp up operations in Georgia."
"Kroger thanks Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, Forest Park and Clayton County officials for their tremendous support of this project," added Clark. "We're eager to transform the grocery experience for our customers through innovation and ingenuity."
The Forest Park CFC will be located at 2000 Anvil Block Road in the Gillem Logistics Center and occupy 375,000 square feet. The CFC is scheduled to break ground later this year and be operational in 2021.
To view video and photography of a CFC, visit here.
At The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), we are dedicated to our Purpose: to Feed the Human Spirit™. We are nearly half a million associates who serve over 11 million customers daily through a seamless digital shopping experience and 2,761 retail food stores under a variety of banner names, serving America through food inspiration and uplift, and creating #ZeroHungerZeroWaste communities by 2025. To learn more about us, visit our newsroom and investor relations site.
About Ocado Solutions
Ocado Solutions is responsible for corporate partnerships, providing the Ocado Smart Platform (OSP) as a service to retailers around the world. OSP comprises access to Ocado's physical infrastructure solutions, running highly efficient warehouse operations for the single pick of products, together with the entire end-to-end proprietary software applications required to operate a world class online grocery business. It is underpinned by Ocado's proven expertise and experience as a dedicated online grocer in the UK.