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Kroger and online grocery firm to build $95M fulfillment center in Romulus

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

The Kroger Co. and grocery ecommerce firm Ocado Solutions will build a $95 million customer fulfillment center to Romulus.

The 135,000-square-foot facility at 15675 Wahrman will create 250 jobs, officials said Monday. The companies had previously announced plans to build a center in the Great Lakes Region.

"Kroger is incredibly excited to develop one of our industry-leading customer fulfillment centers in Michigan in relationship with Ocado to bring fresh food to our customers faster than ever before," Robert Clark, Kroger's senior vice president of supply chain, manufacturing and sourcing said.

Site preparation for the facility begins this week and it is expected open in 18 months. The automated warehouse will have digital and robotic capabilities and serve customers in markets including Michigan, Northern Ohio, and Indiana. 

Plans for the fulfillment center comes as consumers turn to online grocery ordering amid the COVID-19 pandemic. A survey released this month by research and insights firm Incisiv and grocery ecommerce platform Mercatus shows that online grocery ordering is expected to account for 21.5% of total grocery sales by 2025.

"Grocery ecommerce has reached an inflection point in 2020, and with Kroger we are developing a game-changing ecosystem for serving online grocery across the United States," said Luke Jensen, CEO of Ocado Solutions.

The facility will sit in the Aerotropolis region, development-ready land near Detroit Metro and Willow Run Airports targeted for development.

"Kroger's decision to invest $95 million and create 250 new jobs in Romulus further demonstrates that Wayne County is a global leader in logistics and fulfillment industries," said Wayne County Chief Executive Warren Evans. "Kroger's continued commitment to our region with the innovative new grocery delivery service provided by this high-tech facility will help improve access to fresh foods in southeast Michigan at a time when this service is more important than ever to keep residents safe and healthy."

Twitter: @CWilliams_DN