50 Orders in 6 Minutes
Kroger continues to invest in its digital business. By opening America's first automated warehouse with digital and robotic capabilities in Monroe, Ohio, the supermarket chain can assemble a 50-item order in just six minutes. Comparatively, a Kroger employee takes 30 to 45 minutes to pick items from various areas of the store.
The $55-million, 335,000-square-foot fulfillment center, called a "shed," is the first of 20 automated warehouse and distribution facilities to come from a partnership between Kroger and Ocado, a dedicated online grocery retailer based in the United Kingdom.
An Ocado shed helps grocers achieve a higher quality of order fulfillment compared to the in-store experience, which may find a grocer short on an item or out of it altogether. Ocado is working on similar partnerships with several grocery companies worldwide.
Sixty million households shop with Kroger each year. In 2020, the grocer had more than 1.3 billion customer interactions across its digital modalities, a 30% increase from 2019. Kroger plans to open additional Ocado sheds in 2021.