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Texas Retail: Distribution and fulfillment

Kroger Delivery Now in Dallas

Several large retailers continue to build and open distribution centers in Texas for online ordering, pickup at the store, and home delivery, says Gary Huddleston, a grocery industry consultant for the Texas Retailers Association.

“These distribution centers utilize the best-in-class technology, robotics, and safety.”

In particular, H-E-B is adding frozen capabilities to its distribution facilities in Temple, TX. The project will increase the company’s current facilities by 325,000 square feet and will add more than 100 jobs to the local economy. Completion of the project is slated for 2024.

Two of H-E-B’s newest stores, which opened in the autumn of 2021, are in Frisco and Plano.

Meanwhile, Cincinnati, OH-based Kroger is also expanding and using high-tech tools to better serve customers. It recently opened its newest customer fulfillment center in Dallas.

The 325,000-square-foot facility features more than 1,000 robots moving around giant three-dimensional grids and powered by a proprietary control system. The grid, dubbed “the Hive,” uses robots to pick products and send them to a station for sorting and packaging.

Kroger partnered with grocery fulfillment company Ocado in 2018 to create its ecommerce grocery delivery service. The service combines artificial intelligence, advanced robotics, and automation.

“This transformative fulfillment center will create local jobs and accelerate Kroger’s ability to expand our products and services to a larger footprint, providing customers with anything, anytime, anywhere,” says Tom Schwilke, president of Kroger’s {{BB #:100073}} Dallas division, on the company’s website.

Kroger also is establishing a 67,000-square-foot fulfillment center in northeast San Antonio for its Kroger Delivery Service and another 70,000-square-foot facility in Austin. Kroger’s entry into San Antonio marks a return three decades after it closed its 15 San Antonio stores in August 1993.

The company’s investment in a fulfillment center reflects its interest in building home-delivery services. How the possible merger of Kroger and Albertsons plays out may have an impact.

This is an excerpt from the Texas supplement in the March/April 2023 issue of Produce Blueprints Magazine. Click here to read the whole supplement.