DALLAS — Kroger’s new e-commerce fulfillment center is now open, and its employees have started making deliveries in blue refrigerated box trucks throughout Dallas-Fort Worth from southern Dallas.
The largest U.S. supermarket chain opened the 350,000-square-foot facility that cost $55 million to build on Thursday. Kroger, with its U.K. technology partner Ocado, is opening several such e-commerce centers in the U.S., even in markets where it doesn’t have stores.
The city of Dallas approved $5.7 million worth of incentives three years ago for Kroger to build the facility in southern Dallas. It’s at 4221 Telephone Road, just south of I-20 in an area that has attracted warehouse development.
It’s also in an area where the city has been trying to attract more grocery stores. Kroger hosted a grand opening Thursday morning with city officials including Mayor Eric Johnson and District 8 City Council member Tennell Atkins.
Johnson said the investment not only creates hundreds of jobs but also provides access to fresh groceries for residents in “historically underserved and overlooked communities.”
There’s no shortage of online grocery shopping options in Dallas-Fort Worth, but every retailer is trying to make the process more efficient.
The e-commerce grocery warehouse will employ more than 500 people when it’s at peak capacity and can fill 18,000 orders in a day. The facility is built for 1,000 robots that are programed to fetch food from bins. The robots deliver items to a person who is assembling orders and double-checking each order displayed on a computer screen. So far, about 400 people work there, and the center is already feeding hub facilities in Oklahoma City, Austin and San Antonio.
Kroger has the second largest market share in D-FW behind Walmart and believes it can increase its local business with the new facility that customers can access through Kroger’s website or app. An average order can be filled in six minutes and delivered within 90 miles of the center. When completing an order, select the blue truck icon for orders from the center that will be delivered in a specified one-hour window.
The refrigerated trucks leave with 20 to 22 orders to be delivered in the same general area. Instacart customers are still able to order from Kroger, and those groceries will continue to be picked from stores, said Kroger spokeswoman Erin Rolfes.©2022 The Dallas Morning News. Visit dallasnews.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.