Thursday, October 8, 2020

Kroger to build $95 million facility in Romulus

Romulus Mayor LeRoy Burcroff is hoping the latest announcement of a $95 million Kroger customer fulfillment center in the city adds to the city reputation as a state delivery site hub. 

Kroger announced last week that the new center would be located on a 22-acre site at 15675 Wahrman Road, part of the Detroit Region Aerotropolis Development Corp. which includes four communities around Detroit Metropolitan and Willow Run Airports, Taylor, Romulus, Van Buren Township and Huron Township.

The new facility is expected to be a 135,000 square-foot, high-tech center designed to help meet the growing online shopping customer base, company managers said, and create 250 jobs. It is one of three Kroger has planned across the country, according to a prepared news release from the food retailer.

“We are delighted to welcome the Kroger fulfillment center to Romulus, building on the city's status as a logistics and fulfillment hub,” Burcroff said. “We are thrilled about the many new jobs the operations will provide to local residents. Even amid COVID-19, we have remained focused on ensuring Romulus continues to be a home of opportunity--for businesses and residents alike--and with the support of strong partners like Kroger, we can keep our community vibrant for years to come. At the same time, the innovative use of robotics at the fulfillment center to prepare grocery orders for delivery to customers nearby will offer residents critical access to healthy and fresh food.”

The Romulus facility will be automated with digital and robotic capabilities and will handle orders from Michigan, northern Ohio and Indiana. The center will be build with Kroger partner Ocado Solutions, which will provide the infrastructure for the automated warehouse operations.

Ongoing research and surveys from Brick Meets Click/Mercatus Grocery Shopping Survey showed online grocery shopping for pickup or delivery sales was $5.7 billion in August. While the latest numbers are down from a peak of $7.2 billion in June, research showed it is five times larger than a year ago. But the research also found the average amount spent on orders was $95 - a record high.

“We continue to invest in and constantly improve our e-commerce capabilities, focusing on cost-effective solutions,” said Robert Clark, Kroger senior vice president of supply chain, manufacturing and sourcing, in a news release. “In Michigan, we are engineering a smaller model for the region, leveraging advanced robotics technology and creative solutions to redefine the customer experience and respond to the growing demand for grocery e-commerce services.”Luke Jensen, CEO of Ocado Solutions, said the partnership will provide a “game-changing ecosystem for serving online grocery across the United States.”