CINCINNATI - The Kroger Co. and Ocado have entered into an expansion of their partnership with plans to construct an additional Customer Fulfillment Center (CFC) in the South region, while also collaborating with Ocado on instore fulfilment capabilities with a planned rollout across Kroger stores, beginning in 2021.
"Kroger continues to accelerate the expansion of our national network to redefine the customer experience," said Gabriel Arreaga, Kroger's chief supply chain officer. "Our partnership with Ocado is and will continue to be rooted in our ability to deliver a value-added customer-centric solution that brings fresh food to customers through our seamless ecosystem."
The new facility will measure 200,000 square feet, and the exact location and construction details will be announced soon.
"In the long term, we know that winning online in grocery means having the best customer service, underpinned by the best operational economics," said Luke Jensen, CEO of Ocado Solutions. "In leveraging the wide range of Ocado fulfillment technologies, Kroger is accessing the best customer offering for online grocery in the world, proven in the UK, one of the most developed and competitive markets for grocery online."
Kroger is also collaborating with Ocado to leverage its instore fulfilment (ISF) capabilities with the best of Kroger's technology and digital solutions to support the rapid growth of pickup demand across Kroger stores nationwide. Ocado's instore fulfilment solution includes proprietary software that supports associates' efforts to assemble orders and makes it easier and more efficient for them to find products when fulfilling customer pickup orders.
"Kroger continues to accelerate the development and rollout of customer-centric technology and digital capabilities to build a seamless ecosystem that combines the best of the physical store experience with the digital experience," said Yael Cosset, Kroger's chief technology and digital officer. "Ocado's in-store fulfillment capabilities, leveraging AI, will further contribute to continuous improvement of the customer pickup experience."