The technological unemployment jobs apocalypse is coming to Middle America. Kroger (KR) and Britain’s Ocado Group PLC (LSE: OCDO) will build a robotic warehouse in Ohio.
Kroger (NYSE: KR) and Ocado will build their first customer fulfillment center (CFC) in Monroe, Ohio, a press release reveals. Notably, the $55 million 335,000 square foot warehouse is first of 20 CFCs Kroger plans to build with Ocado’s help.
Kroger claims the CFC will create 410 jobs, the press release claims. However, the press release does not state how many jobs the robots will kill.
Kroger (KR) warehouse will use Swarms of Ocado robots
The CFC will use swarms of Ocado robots to pick and pack groceries for delivery or shipment to stores. However, the press release does not say who will deliver the groceries.
Kroger (KR) has a close relationship with Instacart. On the other hand, Ocado operates an extensive delivery service in the USA. For example, Kroger claims it can reach 40 million households with Instacart delivery. In addition, Kroger operates its own delivery services in some markets.
Monroe is a suburb of Kroger’s hometown of Cincinnati. Not coincidently, Kroger and Walgreens (NASDAQ: WBA) are testing pickup of Kroger grocery orders in drugstores in the Cincinnati area. An obvious use for the Monroe CFC is to supply Walgreens drugstores with Kroger groceries.
Kroger is America’s largest supermarket operator and standalone grocer. In particular, Kroger operates 2,782 supermarkets and 37 food manufacturing plants in the United States.
Historic grocery brands owned by Kroger include King Soopers in Colorado, Owen’s in Indiana, Ralph’s in Southern California, Fred Meyer in the Northwest, Fry’s in Arizona, Harris Teeter in the Southeast, Pick n’ Save in Milwaukee, Dillion’s in Kansas, and Kroger stores in Texas.
In addition, Kroger owns Murray’s Cheese, 2,268 pharmacies, 1,489 filling stations, and 1,056 markets with in-store pickup. Notably, the markets with in-store pickup can serve as bases for Instacart delivery.
Is Kroger’s Robotic Warehouse coming to your Area?
Kroger (KR) is operating in 35 states and the District of Columbia (Washington DC). Kroger is also America’s largest organic grocer with $1 billion in organic produce sales last year.
Moreover, Kroger’s Simple Truth Organic brand would be 138 on the Fortune 500 if it were a publicly traded company. For the record, Simple Truth recorded around $2 billion in sales in 2017.
The press release did not say where the next Kroger and Ocado will build the next American CFC. The Los Angeles region is a likely location because Kroger is facing strong competition from Amazon Prime in that market.
One thing is clear; however, Kroger and Ocado’s CFC could be as big a job killer as Amazon’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) fulfillment centers. Notably, Amazon will hire 20,000 fewer fulfillment center workers for the 2018 holiday season than it did in 2017, CNBC claims. In addition, a Kroger CFC could come to your city.