Kroger expands delivery in Texas
While Kroger, the largest supermarket operator in the U.S., does have stores in Texas, it doesn’t have any brick-and-mortar supermarkets in Austin. It’s not the first time the Cincinnati, Ohio-based grocer has expanded delivery to areas without physical stores. As Retail Leader previously reported, the grocer earlier this year expanded its delivery presence in South Florida, a region with zero stores operated by Kroger. Earlier this month, the grocer also opened a 300,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Aurora, Colorado, to support delivery in the Denver region, where it operates King Soopers and City Market.
Kroger’s customer fulfillment facilities are powered by technology from the Ocado Group, a U.K.-based company specializing in e-commerce grocery delivery. Kroger operates hub and spoke facilities. The larger hub facilities, such as the one in Colorado, are where workers pick and pack groceries. At the hub sites, more than 1,000 robots navigate a 3D grid called “The Hive,” which has bins that get filled with products to be delivered to customers, according to the release.
Kroger, which intends to merge with rival Albertsons, operates customer fulfillment centers in eight states: Ohio, Florida, Georgia, Wisconsin, Texas, Michigan, Colorado and Maryland. It plans to add fulfillment centers in California, Ohio, North Carolina, Florida and the Northeast, according to the release.