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Kroger and Ocado announced that they have broken ground in Groveland, Florida, on the site of what will be their second robotic distribution center., a 375,000 square foot facility that is costing $55 million to construct. The first is being built in Monroe, Ohio.

What’s makes this interesting is that Kroger doesn’t have any stores in Florida.

“Kroger is excited to enter Florida to redefine the customer experience through our industry-leading partnership with Ocado," says Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman/CEO. "There's a substantial demand for Kroger products and services in the state, and we're eager to offer a new and seamless experience through the customer fulfillment center, leveraging advanced robotics technology and creative solutions to provide customers with anything, anytime, anywhere.”
KC's View:
The fact is that you don’t need physical stores to serve customers any more - you need a great website and an outstanding distribution system and products that people want, along with the ability to market a virtual store to people. Hell, isn’t that Amazon’s entire business model? No reason why Kroger can’t do it in Florida or any other place it doesn’t operate (New England?) … and Florida makes sense because everybody these comes from someplace else, and a lot of them probably used to shop at a Kroger.

In fact, Kroger probably has all their past shopper data, and should be able to figure out easily where they are now, what they might need or want, and then send them an email offering to give it to them.)