Kroger explores high-tech solution to home delivery

CINCINNATI (WTVG) - Kroger is working to build as many as 20 automated warehouse facilities over the next three years.

The Cincinnati-based grocer is teaming up with the Ocado, which is a online British grocer.

"We see Ocado as an innovative, exciting and transformative partnership in pursuit of our Restock Kroger vision, to serve America through food inspiration and uplift," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO. "We are actively creating a seamless digital experience for our customers. Our partnership with Ocado will speed up our efforts to redefine the food and grocery customer experience – creating value for customers and shareholders alike."

In a news release, Kroger outlines plans to increase its existing investment in Ocado by five percent in a subscription rights agreement. The exclusive partnership aims to enhance Kroger's digital and robotics capabilities.

"Ocado's unique, proprietary and industry-leading technology is set to transform the shopping experience of consumers around the world," said Tim Steiner, CEO of Ocado Group. "Our success as a retailer shows that we can offer customers unrivaled choice, quality and convenience, efficiently and profitably. The opportunity to partner with Kroger to transform the way in which US customers buy grocery represents a huge opportunity to redefine the grocery experience of Kroger's customers and create value for the stakeholders of both Kroger and Ocado. As we work through the terms of the services agreement with Kroger in the coming months, we will be preparing the business for a transformative relationship which will reshape the food retailing industry in the U.S. in the years to come."

The partner-companies have not yet announced where the new, automated warehouses will be built.

"We look forward to innovating together with Ocado to provide our customers the best possible online and in store experience," said Alex Tosolini, senior vice president of business development. "Through Restock Kroger, we will continue expanding partnerships to create customer value."