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Kroger yesterday announced that one of its new Ocado-powered robotic customer fulfillment centers will be built in Frederick, Maryland.

It is the sixth such warehouse to be announced; Kroger and Ocado have said they intend to have as many as 20 in the US. It will be about 350,000 square feet, and likely will take some two years to build.

"We are excited to bring Kroger and Ocado's latest automated warehouse to Frederick. This site will be key to delivering amazing grocery experiences to households across Maryland, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia," said Luke Jensen, CEO of Ocado Solutions.

And Robert Clark, Kroger's senior vice president of supply chain, manufacturing and sourcing, said, "Through our strategic partnership, we are engineering a model for the region, leveraging advanced robotics technology and creative solutions to redefine the customer experience."
KC's View:
One of the things about this that strikes me as interesting is that there are virtually no Kroger stores north of this location - they're all to the south and west. But I continue to wonder if these warehouses - designed to facilitate more efficient and effective delivery of e-commerce services - could be used to allow Kroger to create a pure-play e-commerce offering for markets that it does not yet serve.