By Jerry Underwood
Made in Alabama
Kroger Co. announced plans Friday to hire 161 new employees in Birmingham as the national grocery chain rolls out its e-commerce grocery delivery service in the region.
The Birmingham Business Alliance announced that Kroger has leased a 50,000-square-foot facility at 30 West Oxmoor Road that will serve as a last-mile spoke location for its new delivery network, powered by a high-tech customer fulfillment center, also known as a hub, near Atlanta.
“Kroger today looks very different than it did in 1883 when we opened our first store,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO. “But the core principles that made that store successful – service, selection, value and our commitment to our customers – remain the bedrock of our business.
“I’m incredibly excited for the future of Kroger, and both thriving physical stores and digital solutions are part of it.”
Kroger said this expansion will create jobs in technology, operations, logistics and transportation, inventory and quality management, and customer service and engagement, while improving access to fresh foods and household essentials.
The BBA provided essential economic development support to Kroger’s project team and connected the company to the key governmental departments during its due diligence phase.
“We are proud to welcome a new and innovative Kroger to Birmingham,” said Alex Patrick, a partner at the BBA who managed the project. “Kroger is a more than 100-year-old company with its eye on the future that immediately saw how Birmingham could expand its e-commerce network more effectively.”
Kroger’s e-commerce technology is powered by Ocado Group and is a continuation of its successful entry into Florida in 2021 without physical stores.
Kroger has 10 brick-and-mortar retail food stores in north and east Alabama but none in the Birmingham area. The new Birmingham facility will bring innovation and modern e-commerce to the area and extend Kroger’s reach and ability to serve customers.
In addition to Birmingham, Kroger announced the addition of cross-dock spokes in Austin and San Antonio, Texas.
This story originally appeared on the Alabama Department of Commerce’s Made in Alabama website.