Widgets Magazine
  • Kroger coming to OKC with a twist

    Kroger, second in size only to Walmart among grocers in the United States, will soon be entering the Oklahoma City market.

    Kroger Fulfillment Network, a subsidiary of the grocery company, has submitted plans for a 49,000 square foot warehouse buildout on I-35 just south of Britton Road.

    The facility will stock around 10,000 items and serve as a transfer point for online orders that originate at the company's mega-hub in Dallas, one of 20 huge and highly automated warehouses being constructed throughout the country.

    Several sources told OKCTalk that Kroger had been scouting the market for traditional store locations before the national COVID-19 pandemic. Now, it appears they will come to Central Oklahoma as a delivery-only service.

    Two years ago, Kroger announced ambitious plans to focus on an e-commerce delivery model thereby reaching markets where there are no physical Kroger grocery stores. They have already opened in Florida where they had previously lacked any retail presence and will be taking the same approach in the Northeast.

    Kroger seems to be planning the same tactic in the OKC area. Typically, such a 'spoke' facility will serve deliveries in a radius of 90 miles and create 150 jobs.

    Unlike stores that use third-party gig-economy drivers, deliveries will be made by Kroger refrigerated delivery vans that offer elevated service by employees that will be able to manage order changes and answer questions.

    Orders can be placed on the Kroger website or through their smartphone app. Through various forms of automation similar to Amazon facilities, the total cost is positioned to compete with in-store purchases.

    The main Dallas facility is nearing completion and then the local delivery network will be established. Kroger could start delivering orders in the area by the end of 2022.

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