Kroger, one of the finest and largest American grocery store chain has opened first automated warehouse! Here’s the exclusive details from the inside source. Kroger’s first warehouse which is automated is built on $ 55 million, 335,000-square-foot customer fulfillment.
The center features digital and robotic capabilities that allow Kroger to bulk order approximately 50 items in six minutes using robots. While, instead of around 30 to 45 minutes with a Kroger employee picking them from different areas of the warehouse.
While, it is located along Ohio 63 in Monroe, the new facility is also known as “The Shed” – the first of 20 massive automated storage / distribution facilities planned to be set up as part of a partnership between Kroger and UK-based Ocado, one of the largest grocery vendors across Internet in the world. It is set to employ more than 400 people. The company said during a conference call to discuss fourth-quarter results that the grocery store had completed the inaugural order at the facility on Wednesday.
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Furthermore, they said in an official statement that “This marks the soft opening of the facility, and we look forward to our grand opening in early April,” Rodney McMullen, Chairman and CEO of Kroger, said during the call on Thursday. “We remain excited about the cutting-edge experience this will bring to our customers in the Tri-State region and across the country as we continue to open additional facilities.”
In addition, Ocado is creating similar partnerships with several grocery companies around the world. Ocado Solutions CEO Luke Jensen said in June 2019 that Ocado’s “shed” helps grocers achieve a higher degree of order fulfillment than the in-store experience, which often finds a grocer missing an item or out of it altogether. It also helps to reduce costs. McMullen previously said that Kroger’s partnership with Ocado “will bring customers fresh food faster than ever, speeding up our ability to deliver anything, anytime, anywhere”.
McMullen said during earnings call today that sixty million households shop with Kroger every year and their digital business has grown rapidly. He said that during the year 2020, the grocer had more than 1.3 billion customer interactions through its digital methods, an increase of 30% from last year.
“Our reach allows us to purposefully tailor the customer experience,” MacMullen said. In 2020, Kroger made nearly 11 million personal recommendations a week, he said.
“When you look at that over the course of the year, that’s more than half a trillion customer offers going into 2020,” said McCullen. McMullen said Kroger plans to open more enclosures for Ocado this year. The company announced locations of 10 of the 20 centers planned to meet customer needs. The Ohio Tax Credit Authority voted in 2018 to approve an eight-year tax credit of 1.362% for the project. Kroger purchased the 98-acre property in Monroe in 2019 for $ 3.1 million, according to Butler County Auditor’s Office records.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine stated in June 2019 that the modern facility represents “the intersection of the emerging technology and food sectors in Ohio and the next step in developing shopping experiences for Kroger customers”. What is your take on this? Is technology taking over? What is the future of Kroger employees? Let us know in the comment section below!