Kroger this week opened a new "spoke" delivery facility in Independence, Kentucky, which will serve customers in the northern part of the state.
According to the company, the spoke facility "will work in conjunction with the Monroe, Ohio fulfillment center. All orders are picked at the products' peak freshness within the Monroe facility. Associates carefully assemble orders and place them in climate-controlled vehicles to travel to Independence. Once the orders arrive, they are checked and placed on refrigerated delivery trucks that deliver directly to customers' doors, ensuring cold and frozen products remain at the perfect temperature from the supplier to the customer's refrigerator."
And, some context:
"The Northern Kentucky location marks the company's second Kentucky spoke location. It's Louisville, Kentucky spoke launched in May of 2022.
"The expansion to the Kentucky area represents an extension of a collaboration between Kroger and Ocado Group, 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 … With each Kroger Delivery van holding up to 20 orders … drivers are then deployed to deliver orders in the most efficient manner possible … vans may travel up to 90 minutes with orders from the hub and spoke facilities to make deliveries. Associates at the spoke facility will deliver orders within their service area, adding ZIP codes as demand grows."
Kroger currently operates customer fulfillment centers in Monroe, OH, Groveland, FL, Forest Park, GA (Atlanta), Pleasant Prairie, WI, Dallas, TX, Romulus, MI (Detroit), Aurora, CO and Frederick, MD, with additional customer fulfillment centers slated for California, Phoenix, AZ, Cleveland, OH, Charlotte, NC, as well as South Florida and the Northeast.
- KC's View:
Kroger's hub-and-spoke approach to distribution continues to be impressive, and I suspect will be only more so if the Albertsons deal is approved and that company's various banners are folded into the infrastructure.