Kroger and Ocado announce new region for high-tech Customer Fulfillment Center and expand collaboration to include in-store fulfillment capabilities

CINCINNATI, Nov. 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Kroger Family of Companies (NYSE: KR), America's largest grocery retailer, and Ocado (LSE: OCDO), a world leader in technology for grocery e-commerce, today announced the continued expansion of their partnership with plans to construct an additional Customer Fulfillment Center (CFC) in the South region, while also collaborating with Ocado on in-store fulfilment (ISF) capabilities with a planned rollout across Kroger stores, beginning in 2021.

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"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. The exact location and construction dates of the new facility will be announced soon.

Kroger has partnered with Ocado to help accelerate its ability to provide customers with anything, anytime, anywhere through its seamless ecosystem. The CFC model – incorporating state-of-the-art automation and AI – will be used to expand Kroger products to a larger footprint. 

"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 most developed and competitive markets for grocery online."

The newly named location will complement Kroger's previously announced CFC sites in Monroe, OH, Groveland, FL, Frederick, MD, Atlanta, GA, Dallas, TX, Pleasant Prairie, WI, Romulus, MI, Pacific Northwest and West regions. Kroger plans to open the country's first two CFC sites in Monroe, OH, a suburb of Cincinnati and Groveland, FL in early 2021. 

As part of its accelerated growth plan, Kroger is also investing and innovating to optimize in-store fulfilment technology and processes. Through their expanding partnership, Kroger is also collaborating with Ocado to leverage their in-store 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 in-store 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."

About The Kroger Co.
At The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), we are Fresh for Everyone™ and dedicated to our Purpose: To Feed the Human Spirit®. We are, across our family of companies, nearly half a million associates who serve over 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 newsroom 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 fulfilment solutions to some of the world's largest grocery retailers and holds a 50% of Ocado Retail Ltd in the UK in a Joint Venture with Marks & Spencer. Ocado has spent two decades innovating for grocery online, investing in a wide technology estate that includes robotics, AI & machine learning, simulation, forecasting, and edge intelligence.

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SOURCE The Kroger Co.

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