Kroger and Ocado have broken ground on an automated fulfillment center in Forest Park, Ga. that is slated to open in 2021. The $55 million, 375,000-square-foot warehouse is the second of 20 similar locations, called “sheds,” planned for the U.S. The first began construction in Monroe, Ohio in June.
The shed will be located at the same site as an existing 1.3 million-square-foot distribution center. The warehouse will be staffed by robots capable of picking a 50-item order in minutes, as well as 400 human employees. Ocado’s system harnesses AI and machine learning that can predict demand for more than 50,000 different products.
“Kroger is incredibly excited to construct one of our industry-leading Customer Fulfillment Centers in Forest Park — a city south of Atlanta — through our relationship with Ocado,” said Robert Clark, SVP of Supply Chain, Manufacturing and Sourcing at Kroger in a statement. “Through our strategic partnership, we are leveraging advanced robotics technology and creative solutions to redefine the customer experience across America.”
Kroger cemented its partnership with Ocado in May 2018, when the U.S. retailer boosted its investment in the UK-based grocery delivery company to 6%. The warehouses are part of the Restock Kroger initiative, which also includes plans to redesign stores for self-checkout by expanding the Scan, Bag, Go program.