2022-05-25 | NYSE: KR | Press release

Grocery delivery service powered by high-tech hub begins fulfilling customer orders in Central Ohio

CINCINNATI, May 25, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), America’s largest grocery retailer, today announced it will bring delivery to more Americans with the addition of a spoke installation at Central Ohio powered by the Ocado Group (LSE: OCDO). Adding a delivery “radius” brings innovation and modern e-commerce to the Central Ohio area, including Columbusand expand the grocer’s reach and ability to provide fresh, customer-friendly services to its customers.

“We are proud to expand the Kroger distribution network in our home country,” said Gabriel Arreaga, senior vice president and chief supply chain officer of Kroger. “The new service is an innovative addition to the expanding digital shopping experience offered to Kroger customers. Our delivery business continues to accelerate with the growth of fulfillment facilities and shelves. This expansion will strengthen our commitment to creating career opportunities and serving fresh food to shoppers quickly through interconnected, automated, last-mile solutions across America.”

The 61,000 square foot facility located on Shook Rd in Lockbourne will collaborate in the realization hub in Monroe, Ohio and serve as a last-mile transshipment location that effectively extends the reach of the distribution network to customers up to 200 miles from the hub. At full capacity, customers in over 250 Central Ohio ZIP codes can experience Kroger delivery. The facility will employ up to 200 associates.

“When our customers think of food, they think of Kroger,” continued Arreaga. Columbus is another cutting-edge example of how Kroger is fulfilling its commitment to providing customers with anything, anywhere, anytime.”

The opening of the Columbus The region’s distribution center follows another e-commerce achievement for the region’s grocer, the recent launch of the annual Boost by Kroger Plus membership program. For either $59 or $99 per year, Boost offers customers access to benefits such as free delivery and 2 fuel points for every $1 spent on groceries and general merchandise purchases via delivery, pickup, and in-store at your local Kroger.

“We are proud that the nation’s largest food retailer is headquartered in Ohiowhere Kroger continues to evolve its national growth strategy,” said JP Nauseef, President and CEO of Jobs Ohio. “This new state-of-the-art spoke facility in the Columbus connect more people to fresh food, create hundreds of jobs, and make Kroger customers more efficient in Ohio.”

Kroger Delivery Explained

The expansion into Central Ohio represents the extension of a partnership between Kroger and ocadoa global leader in grocery technology e-commerce. In 2018, the companies announced a collaboration to establish a delivery network that combines artificial intelligence, advanced robotics and automation in a bold new way, bringing first-of-its-kind technology in America. Kroger President and CEO Rodney McMullen mentioned Kroger The delivery “supports the ongoing shift in grocery consumer behavior and elevates our position as one of the leading e-commerce companies. Thanks to the delivery network, the company now serves customers in Floridafor example, without traditional physical stores.

The delivery network relies on highly automated distribution centers. At hub sites, more than 1,000 bots circle giant 3D grids, orchestrated by proprietary air traffic control systems in the unlicensed spectrum. The grid, known as The Beehive, contains bins with products and customer orders ready for delivery.

As customer orders approach their delivery times, the bots pick up products from The Beehive and are presented to pick stations for items to be sorted for delivery, an algorithm-driven process that ensures items are packaged intelligently. For example, fragile items are placed on top, bags are weighed evenly, and each order is optimized to fit in the fewest number of bags, reducing plastic usage.

After being packed, the groceries are loaded into a refrigerated delivery van, which can store up to 20 orders. Powerful machine learning algorithms optimize delivery routes, taking into account factors such as road conditions and optimum fuel efficiency. Vans can travel up to 90 miles with hub controls and hub-and-spoke facilities to make deliveries. Spokesperson associates will deliver orders within their service area, adding postcodes as demand increases.

Kroger currently operates customer processing centers in Monroe, Ohio, Groveland, Florida, Forest Park, Georgia (Atlanta) and Dallas, TX with additional customer processing centers planned for California, Frederick, MD, Phoenix, AZ, Pleasant Prairie, WI, Romulus, MI (Detroit), Cleveland, Ohio, Charlotte, North Carolina as well as South Florida and the Northeast.

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To download Kroger Photography and video delivery, visit here.

About Kroger

At Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), we are Fresh for Everyone™ and dedicated to our purpose: Feeding the Human Spirit®. We are, in our family of companies, nearly half a million associates who serve more than 11 million customers daily through a seamless shopping experience under a variety of banner names. We are committed to creating #ZeroHungerZeroWaste communities by 2025. To learn more about us, visit our writing and investor relations site.

About Ocado Group

ocado Group is a UK-based technology company admitted to trading on the London Stock Exchange (Ticker OCDO). It provides end-to-end online grocery shopping accomplishment solutions to some of the world’s largest food retailers and owns a 50% share of ocado Retail Ltd in the UK in a joint venture with Marks & Spencer. ocado has spent two decades innovating for online grocery, investing in a vast technology park that includes robotics, AI and machine learning, simulation, forecasting and cutting-edge intelligence.

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SOURCEThe Kroger Co.

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