New fulfillment center to bring 400 jobs to area
Team NEO and The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), today announced the arrival of the company’s second Ohio Customer Fulfillment Center (CFC) in Oakwood Village, near Cleveland, Ohio. The facility will be powered by the Ocado Group (LSE: OCDO) and combine vertical integration, machine learning, and robotics to provide an affordable, friendly, and fast fresh food delivery service as part of the company’s seamless ecosystem.
“Kroger Fulfillment Network’s decision to create a new state-of-the-art facility in northeast Ohio demonstrates that the region has favorable logistics and talent to connect technology with retail,” said Team NEO CEO Bill Koehler. “Along with our local partners, ODOD and JobsOhio, we look forward to continuing to work with the company’s leadership to ensure their sustained success in northeastern Ohio.”
“Kroger is incredibly excited to expand our delivery business in our home state and provide northeast Ohioans access to thousands of fresh and popular products, including our industry-leading Private Selection™ and Simple Truth™ brands, through our Customer Fulfillment Center,” said Gabriel Arreaga, Kroger’s senior vice president and chief supply chain officer. “The Cleveland region facility is an accelerant to our strategy to achieve the doubling of our digital sales and profitability rate by the end of 2023, and we’re eager to provide a rewarding experience for our new customers in northeastern Ohio and Pennsylvania and create new jobs for individuals passionate about technology, engineering, operations, logistics and transportation, inventory and quality management, and customer service and engagement.”
The CFC will measure 270,000 square feet and is expected to create up to 400 new jobs. It’s expected to become operational 24 months after the site breaks ground and will service areas in northeastern Ohio and Pennsylvania. Kroger appreciates its partnerships with JobsOhio and Team NEO to deliver this project.
The expansion to Oakwood Village in Cuyahoga County represents an extension of a partnership between Kroger and Ocado, a world leader in technology for grocery e-commerce. In 2018, the companies announced a collaboration to establish a delivery network that combines artificial intelligence, advanced robotics, and automation in a bold new way, bringing first-of-its-kind technology to America. Oakwood Village Mayor Gary Gottschalk is proud to bring the project to his community, “Oakwood is thrilled that Kroger has selected our village to be the location of one of its highly automated, robotics–driven fulfillment centers in the U.S. It will transform the grocery retail experience in Northeast Ohio. It will also have a tremendous impact on Oakwood Village including a job creation target of 400 associates with an annual payroll of $18 million, and a $1.0 million donation over 20 years introducing Oakwood’s youth to cutting edge automation, artificial intelligence and robotics with adult education in the evenings to come.”
County Executive Armond Budish expressed his excitement for this project: “400 new jobs—that’s a big deal! A new fulfillment center furthering our position as a logistics hub—that’s a big deal. A new business using cutting edge artificial intelligence, technology and robotics—that’s a big deal!”
“Kroger Fulfillment Network’s cutting-edge facility will utilize the latest robotics and logistics technology, helping improve access to fresh food in communities without physical stores while creating 400 good-paying jobs,” said JobsOhio President and CEO J.P. Nauseef. “This will be Kroger Fulfillment Network’s second hub distribution facility in the state, demonstrating the advantage Ohio provides to build out the U.S. supply chain.”
Premier Development Partners, developers of the 28 acre-site in Oakwood Village, located at Alexander Road, adjacent to I-480, commented on the sale of the land. “Premier is proud to have helped Kroger establish an automated fulfillment center in Oakwood Village,” said Kevin Callahan, Senior Partner at Premier Development Partners. “Premier assembled the site and went through the lengthy rezoning process for this property. Our team worked closely with Mayor Gottschalk of Oakwood Village to ensure a very reputable company like Kroger acquired the site, bringing 400 employees to the Oakwood community and a substantial payroll.”
Kroger unveiled its Monroe, Ohio customer fulfillment center in April 2021, its first, followed by centers in Groveland, FL and Forest Park, GA (Atlanta). The Dallas fulfillment center is slated to open this spring with additional customer fulfillment centers slated for California, Frederick, MD, Phoenix, AZ, Pleasant Prairie, WI, Romulus, MI (Detroit), as well as South Florida and the Northeast and West.
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About Team NEO
Team NEO is a private, nonprofit economic development organization accelerating business growth and job creation throughout the 18 counties of the Northeast Ohio Region. As the designated JobsOhio Network Partner, we align and amplify local economic development efforts in the region’s 18-counties; we conduct research and data analysis to inform local conversations and influence solutions; we market the Northeast Ohio Region; and we work to increase access to jobs, education and training for the region’s 4.3 million people. We do this to build a more vibrant regional economy; one that is more talented, equitable, competitive, innovative, resilient and prosperous. For more information, visit teamneo.org.
At The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), we are dedicated to our Purpose: to Feed the Human Spirit™. We are, across our family of companies, nearly half a million associates who serve over nine million customers daily through a seamless digital shopping experience and 2,800 retail food stores under a variety of banner names, serving America through food inspiration and uplift, and creating #ZeroHungerZeroWaste communities by 2025. To learn more about us, visit our newsroom and investor relations site.
About Ocado Group
Ocado Group is a UK based technology company admitted to trading on the London Stock Exchange (Ticker OCDO). It provides end-to-end online grocery fulfilment solutions to some of the world’s largest grocery retailers and holds a 50% share of Ocado Retail Ltd in the UK in a Joint Venture with Marks & Spencer. Ocado has spent two decades innovating for grocery online, investing in a wide technology estate that includes robotics, AI & machine learning, simulation, forecasting, and edge intelligence.
About Cuyahoga County
Cuyahoga County is focused on Economic growth and Opportunity, Fairness and Equity and a Government That Gets Results. We believe that we can create and support a vibrant and prosperous region where everyone thrives and all things are possible. For more information on Cuyahoga County please visit cuyahogacounty.us. Follow us on social media: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CuyahogaCounty Twitter: https://twitter.com/CuyahogaCounty Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cuyahogacounty/ and sign up for our newsletter: https://cuyahogacounty.us/county-news/newsletter-registration.
JobsOhio is a private nonprofit economic development corporation designed to drive job creation and new capital investment in Ohio through business attraction, retention and expansion. The organization also works to seed talent production in its targeted industries and to attract talent to Ohio through Find Your Ohio. JobsOhio works with six regional partners across Ohio: Dayton Development Coalition, Ohio Southeast Economic Development, One Columbus, REDI Cincinnati, Regional Growth Partnership and Team NEO. Learn more at www.jobsohio.com. Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.