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Kroger last week announced the opening of a new "spoke facility" in the Miami, Florida, area that it says "will work in conjunction with the Groveland, Florida fulfillment center.

"All orders are picked at the products' peak freshness within the Groveland facility. Associates carefully assemble orders and place them in climate-controlled vehicles to travel to Miami, serving communities between Port St. Lucie in the north to Homestead in the South, on both the east and west sides of I-95. Once the orders arrive, they are checked and placed on refrigerated delivery trucks that deliver directly to customers' doors, ensuring cold and frozen products remain at the perfect temperature from the supplier to the customer's refrigerator."

The announcement says that "the expansion to South Florida, including Miami represents an extension of a collaboration between Kroger and Ocado Group, a world leader in technology for grocery e-commerce. In 2018, the companies announced a collaboration to establish a delivery network that combines artificial intelligence, advanced robotics and automation in a bold new way, bringing first-of-its-kind technology to America."

Kroger currently operates customer fulfillment centers in Monroe, OH, Groveland, FL, Forest Park, GA (Atlanta), Pleasant Prairie, WI, Dallas, TX, Romulus, MI (Detroit) and Aurora, CO with additional customer fulfillment centers slated for California, Frederick, MD, Phoenix, AZ, Cleveland, OH, Charlotte, NC, as well as South Florida and the Northeast.

KC's View:

I continue to believe that one of the smartest and innovative things that Kroger has done has been to use its Ocado spoke-and-wheel construct to serve markets where it does not have stores.