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Kroger Opens Distribution Facility in Romulus, Launches Home Delivery Service in Region

Posted By: DBUSINESS on October 19, 2022.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.


The Kroger Co. opened a Customer Fulfillment Center (CFC) in Romulus on Tuesday, facilitating its Kroger Delivery service in metro Detroit.

The 135,000-square-foot facility will reach customers up to 90 minutes from the site. Kroger Delivery utilizes temperature-controlled vans and machine learning algorithms that optimize delivery routes. Orders are delivered to customers’ doorsteps by trained Kroger associates ensuring what the company calls “a best-in-class delivery experience.”

“Kroger has served customers in the state of Michigan for more than a century and we are thrilled to bring Kroger Delivery to greater Detroit,” says Bill Bennett, Kroger vice president, and head of e-commerce at Kroger. “We are passionate about delivering a fresh, convenient customer shopping experience with zero compromise on quality, selection, and affordability.

“From the refrigerated trucks to the trained and uniformed drivers, to the white glove delivery experience at the door, Kroger Delivery brings that same zero compromise experience to a new delivery option for customers. This new offering builds on all the other benefits of shopping Kroger online, including an entirely personalized shopping experience, easy digital coupons, valuable fuel points, and fresh, high-quality products, shoppable on the Kroger app or on”

Local shoppers also have access to the newly launched Boost by Kroger annual membership program. For either $59 or $99 per year, Boost provides customers with benefits like unlimited free delivery on orders of $35 or more and two Fuel Points for every $1 spent on groceries and general merchandise purchases through delivery, pickup, and in-stores. Kroger estimates the membership can save customers more than $1,000 per year on fuel and grocery delivery.

The new customer fulfillment center will employ more than 700 associates as Kroger Delivery continues to expand its services throughout southeast Michigan.

“This was a true public-private collaboration that connects millions of residents with healthy foods in new and innovative ways,” says Christopher Girdwood, CEO of the Detroit Region Aerotropolis Development Corp.

Kroger Delivery’s multi-state network of CFCs are powered by Ocado Group in the U.K.

“Ocado’s world-leading technology is already powering CFCs with Kroger across six states and supporting Kroger Delivery to bring a world-leading service to multiple new and existing Kroger markets around the country,” says Luke Jensen, CEO of Ocado Solutions. “Our CFC in Romulus is already bringing a game-changing online grocery experience to customers in the greater Detroit area, and we look forward to bringing this to Kroger customers from coast to coast across the U.S. as our partnership continues to grow.”

The expansion to Romulus represents an extension of a partnership between Kroger and Ocado Group, established in 2018 to establish a delivery network that combines artificial intelligence, advanced robotics, and automation.

The delivery network relies on highly automated fulfillment centers. At the hub sites, more than 1,000 bots move around giant 3-D grids, orchestrated by proprietary control systems. The grid, known as The Hive, contains totes filled with products and ready-to-deliver customer orders. As customers’ orders near delivery times, bots retrieve products from The Hive and present them at pick stations for items to be sorted for delivery, a process governed by algorithms that ensure items are intelligently packed.

Fragile items, for example, are placed on top, bags are evenly weighted, and each order is optimized to fit into the lowest number of bags, reducing plastic use. Bags also are recyclable, reflecting Kroger’s commitment to its Zero Hunger | Zero Waste commitment to rid its communities of hunger and waste.

Kroger’s end-to-end cold solutions are designed to keep groceries fresh once loaded into a customized refrigerated delivery van, which can store up to 20 orders. Machine learning algorithms optimize delivery routes, considering factors such as road conditions and optimal fuel efficiency. Vans may travel up to 90 miles with orders from the hub and spoke facilities to make deliveries. Associates at the spoke facility will deliver orders within their service area, adding ZIP codes as demand grows.

Kroger currently operates customer fulfillment centers in Monroe, Ohio; Groveland, Fla.; Forest Park, Ga.; Pleasant Prairie, Wisc.; Dallas, and now Romulus. Additional customer fulfillment centers are planned for Colorado, California, Maryland, Arizona, south Florida, Cleveland, Charlotte, N.C., and the Northeast.

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