It is being called the grocery store of the future but it is a building most of us will never step inside. Kroger is breaking ground today on a new customer fulfillment center in Monroe which is the first of the kind in the United States. The center which uses robots to pick and pack online orders is a partnership with a British company that developed the technology.
The CEO of Ocado says the automated facility cuts the time from filling a customers online order from over an hour to just fifteen minutes. They use an air traffic control system similar to what it used at airports to move robots through the warehouse filling crates that are then sent out for home delivery. In Britain, the online retailer allows people to select a one hour window for delivery and requires customers to spend at least $50.
Analysts say the partnership with Ocado allows Kroger to go head to head with Amazon which has recently ventured into the grocery delivery business. The Monroe facility is the first of 20 that Kroger plans to construct across the country. You can take a virtual of an Ocado fulfillment center below: