The Kroger Co., (NYSE: KR) America’s largest grocery retailer, and KNAPP, a global leader in intelligent automation and specialized software solutions, today announced their agreement to deploy, expand, and enhance the capabilities and capacity of the retailer’s existing Great Lakes Distribution Center in Delaware, Ohio. The facility is currently being renovated to add modern state-of-the-art technology and is expected to be complete this summer.
The distribution center opened in 2003 and currently services 115 stores in central and northwest Ohio, as well as southeast Michigan and the Ohio River Valley region. During the renovation, the facility will expand by 130,000 square feet.
Tony Lucchino, Kroger’s Vice President of Supply Chain and Network Strategy, said of the agreement, “Kroger’s investment in KNAPP’s latest technology allows the Great Lakes Distribution Center to improve efficiency in replenishing our stores, enabling us to quickly deliver fresh food to our customers. The expansion of the facility is part of the ongoing transformation of our supply chain network, and this project will more than double our capacity while delivering innovation and scalability that can grow with demand.” He added, “This collaborative project will allow us to better serve customers in the region.”
The site uses a unique combination of KNAPP OSR™ Shuttle Evo (order, storage and retrieval) shuttles that deliver grocery cases in an exact sequence to the RUNPICK robotic palletizers – delivering next generation efficiency and performance increases for Kroger’s supply chain network.
According to KNAPP CEO Josef Mentzer, “The technology investment in the Great Lakes Distribution Center has been designed to add a new level of flexibility to the Kroger supply chain network and deliver a resilient approach to investments in automation.”
Tom Homan, Delaware City Manager, said of the expansion, “This transformation by Kroger will further improve the speed and service that the company delivers to its customers, and reaffirms Delaware’s leading role in the region as a hub for logistics and distribution excellence.”