Kroger Plans to Build One of Its Ocado Robotics Fulfillment Centers in Southern Dallas

Kroger is planning to build one of its first automated warehouses to fill online orders in Dallas.The facility is planned on 55 acres south of Interstate 20 at the northwest corner of Telephone and Bonnie View roads. The Cincinnati-based grocer is asking the Dallas City Council on Wednesday for 10-year property and business personal property tax abatemens totaling $3.7 million, according to the city's meeting agenda. The supermarket chain, which operates 98 stores in North Texas, is also seeking $2 million for public infrastructure work from the state's Enterprise Zone economic development funds. Kroger hasn't been reached for comment.Kroger and leading U.K. online grocer Ocado have been working together since May 2018 to replicate Ocado's digital and robotics capabilities in the U.S.Kroger has said it wants to build 20 of these fulfillment centers which cost about $55 million each, and so far has announced three others in Monroe, Ohio; Groveland, Fla. and one more in a Mid-Atlantic state it hasn't named yet.Kroger started construction on the first one in June in Ohio. The 335,000-square-foot fulfillment center will be ready in 2021. It will use robotic and digital technology to fill customer's online orders, but it will still employ about 400 people.Grocery deliveries from Kroger and other supermarket chains now are largely fulfilled from supermarkets near customers' homes. Filling food orders from a warehouse was considered a mistake 20 years ago in the U.S. when companies like Webvan, Home Grocer and Grocery Works failed. While those wareshouse-based project were expensive, consumers also didn't have the fast internet access and mobile tools to make online shopping a success.The most recent push by U.S. grocers has found willing shoppers and quick adopters to curbside pickup and deliveries. Online grocery sales finally got going in 2015 abd 2016 and are forecast to rise to $100 billion by 2022, according to a recent Food Marketing Institute and Nielsen report.Twitter: @MariaHalkias  Continue reading...

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