Kroger, America’s largest grocer by retail sales, looks to carve into Publix’s Florida market share while operating just a single brick-and-mortar store in Jacksonville. Rather, the company is opting to win over new customers through means of a new grocery delivery service, made evident by its announcement on Friday of plans to open a Kroger Delivery in Miami-Dade County in order to expand its Florida footprint.
The company holds plans to operate a large-scale delivery distribution center in the Opa Locka neighborhood of Miami, allowing the Kroger fleet of delivery drivers to potentially reach as far north as Palm Beach County and as South as Monroe County, spanning over 100 miles in length.
Grocery delivery services grew in popularity and everyday use following the administering of COVID-19 lockdown mandates across the country. Industry trailblazers such as InstaCart paved the way for traditional retailers like Kroger to set in motion and expand its reach without having to operate and maintain a traditional store.
“We are thrilled to welcome Kroger Delivery to Miami-Dade County as they expand their Florida footprint,” said James Kohnstamm, Executive Vice President, Miami-Dade Beacon Council. “The 60,000 square-foot high-tech distribution center will bring 200 new jobs to Opa Locka and adjacent communities. This state-of-the-art facility is another example of how two of our key industries – trade and logistics, and technology – intersect to deliver, innovative seamless solutions that support business growth. The strength of our ecosystem coupled with the infrastructure to support the needs of on-demand grocery delivery, make Miami-Dade a natural fit for Kroger’s expanding eCommerce delivery service.”
The expansion represents an extension of a partnership between Kroger and Ocado, an industry 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, bringing first-of-its-kind technology to America.
Through the hub-and-spoke delivery network, the organization serves customers in Central Florida, Tampa, Jacksonville, and now South Florida, without traditional brick-and-mortar stores.
“Kroger’s new hub in Miami-Dade County is an innovative program that demonstrates how business leaders are leveraging technology to provide important services and job opportunities,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “Their eCommerce model to deliver fresh food at people’s doors offers another great option for our community to stock up on the essentials during hurricane season. This will help to make sure they have what they need to keep their families fed and secure.”