Grocery delivery has become a widely popular trend. About one year ago, large grocery chain Kroger opened its first Customer Fulfillment Center (CFC) in Groveland, Florida to service the greater Tampa Bay, Orlando, and Jacksonville markets. With much success in these markets and with its e-commerce delivery business model, the chain recently announced it will be expanding its reach into the South Florida market and hiring approximately 200 more workers.
Instead of going to a physical grocery store, customers can seamlessly shop online for fresh grocery items, and they are delivered via a refrigerated truck directly to the end users’ doorsteps. The warehouse has incorporated advanced technology in order to streamline the process. In the customer fulfillment centers, robots travel across a grid also known as “The Hive” where the robots retrieve items and then sort them through an algorithmic process. The items are weighed and sorted into bags evenly with fragile items being placed on top. The bags are then loaded into the temperature-controlled vans. Their technology also utilizes a software to make sure the van’s delivery route is efficient with other customers orders so that the driver can make the best use of his or her time.
It will be interesting to see how this competes with Instacart for grocery delivery and if we will see more of this type of service being offered by other local grocers.
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