Kroger’s robot-powered warehouse to create over 400 jobs in Monroe


Kroger announced today that Monroe is its choice for America’s first automated warehouse.

The $55 million robot-powered project, Kroger’s first customer fulfillment center, is expected to generate at least 410 new jobs.

Known as a “shed,” the 335,000-square-foot facility with digital and robotic capabilities will be designed by British online grocer Ocado. Its construction in Monroe is subject to securing state and local incentives, according to the company.

MORE: Kroger partners with e-commerce company to build new fulfillment centers

Kroger officials are “incredibly excited” to partner with Ocado to transform the industry and deliver on the company’s Restock Kroger vision to serve America through food inspiration and uplift, according to Kroger CEO and Chairman Rodney McMullen.

“Kroger is joining with the best partners in the world to co-innovate and leverage technology to redefine the customer experience,” McMullen said in a statement. “This Kroger shed, powered by Ocado, will accelerate our ability to provide customers with anything, anytime and anywhere.”

Monroe officials declined to provide comment to the Journal-News on the project because it is still pending.

Rick Pearce, president and CEO of the Chamber Serving Middletown, Monroe & Trenton, said chamber officials are "very excited" about the opportunity for the area to be the potential new home of the next generation automated warehouse. 

"This is a great opportunity for our region not only from a jobs standpoint but also for workforce development," Pearce said. "Imagine for a moment, introducing our young area students to this new technology and being able to build upon that skill set for future careers. I can see a great deal of students being excited about the integration between logistics, robotics and technology."

MORE: Dining out at Kroger? Store renovations aimed at providing that option

Kroger plans to open 20 customer fulfillment centers — or CFCs — to support what it referred to as its “seamless vision.”

The CFC will introduce innovative robotics technology, allowing for next-generation automated storage and retrieval, company officials said today.

“We and our partners at REDI Cincinnati are excited Kroger has chosen Ohio for its first customer fulfillment center in the United States,” said Dana Saucier, vice president and head of economic development for JobsOhio, adding that the cutting-edge facility “will serve as a national model as Kroger continues its focus on the evolving preferences of its customers throughout the country.”

Kimm Lauterbach, president and CEO of Regional Economic Development Initiative (REDI) Cincinnati, said REDI, JobsOhio’s regional partner for Southwest Ohio, is excited to support Kroger’s growth in Monroe.

MORE: Kroger partners with e-commerce company to build new fulfillment centers

“With its latest investment in the region, Kroger continues to be both an innovative leader in consumer goods and an essential part of Greater Cincinnati’s growth,” Lauterbach said.

McMullen said Kroger is committed to helping position Cincinnati and Ohio as a destination for digital and technology talent.

“We are proud to choose our HQ state of Ohio as the first location for this first-of-its-kind customer fulfillment center in the U.S.,” McMullen said, thanking Ohio Gov. John Kasich, JobsOhio and REDI for enabling Kroger’s $55 million capital investment and the expected creation of 410 new Ohio jobs.

MORE: ‘Grocery wars’: How local stores are competing for your dollar

UK-based Ocado is one of the world’s largest dedicated online grocery retailers, operating its own grocery and general merchandise retail businesses under Ocado.com and other specialist shop banners, together with its Solutions division.

It has global ties and advanced digital and robotic capabilities.

Earlier this year, Kroger and Ocado announced an alliance to bring to the U.S. Ocado’s unparalleled innovation and technologies. In October, the companies signed a master services agreement to further solidify their partnership.

“Working together, we will develop the strongest possible supply network to support a seamless customer experience that can serve every person in America,” said Alex Tosolini, Kroger’s senior vice president of new business development. “It’s all about building a seamless supply chain to provide our customers with an amazing shopping experience.”

MORE: Kroger to open digital headquarters in downtown Cincinnati



Reader Comments


Next Up in News

Artist paints Iowa’s largest mural on side of 110-foot silo
Artist paints Iowa’s largest mural on side of 110-foot silo

An Australian artist turned the side of a 110-foot silo into what is believed to be the largest mural in Iowa.  >> Read more trending news  Guido van Helten finds a challenge in all his projects, but he especially enjoyed adding the details and accounting for the silo’s curves in achieving the final product. "This one's probably...
'Nobody should work here, ever': Teen quits Walmart job over store intercom
'Nobody should work here, ever': Teen quits Walmart job over store intercom

A 17-year-old delivered a pointed message to people inside a Canada Walmart before quitting his job. The Edmonton Journal reported that Jackson Racicot posted a video of himself speaking over the intercom of a Walmart in Grand Prairie, Alberta, addressing customers and co-workers. The profanity-laced video was posted on his Facebook page Dec....
Teen daughter raising money to buy wheelchair for paralyzed mother 
Teen daughter raising money to buy wheelchair for paralyzed mother 

A teen daughter is trying to raise money to help her paraplegic mother get an upright wheelchair.  >> Read more trending news  Kariyana Fields has been working and saving money each week to buy a standing electric wheelchair, which costs about $8,500 and is not covered under insurance, WWL reported.  Kariyana has written letters...
2018 Ohio governor’s race most expensive ever
2018 Ohio governor’s race most expensive ever

The 2018 race for governor between Republican Mike DeWine and Democrat Richard Cordray set a new record for most expensive governor’s race in Ohio history: $43.5 million raised between the two campaigns. That easily outstrips the previous record of $30.4 million set in 2010. In 2017-18, DeWine, who is currently attorney general, raised $24...
Children greet trash collector with cookies, Mountain Dew; he surprises them with toy garbage trucks
Children greet trash collector with cookies, Mountain Dew; he surprises them with toy garbage trucks

Children at a Utah day care greet the garbage man each Thursday with cookies and Mountain Dew.  >> Read more trending news  Recently, trash collector Jeff Okeson had a surprise for them -- smaller, wooden toy trucks for them to keep.  "You know why I did this?" Okeson told the children, KUTV reported. "(I did...
More Stories