CINCINNATI, July 9, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Kroger announced today a $17 million investment in its distribution center on Mt. Zion Road in Florence, Kentucky located in Boone County, which will ramp up production at the facility and create 250 new jobs, majority full-time positions.
The project is supported by a Kentucky Business Investment (KBI) incentive of up to $1 million over 10 years. The company's annual eligibility for the performance-based tax credit is linked to investment, job creation and retention, and average hourly wage targets.
The 674,000-square-foot ambient distribution center currently employs 80 associates. It opened in October 2017 after Kroger's $60 million investment in the replenishment center to service the company's direct-to-store distribution centers across the eastern half of the country, as well as Kroger's growing ecommerce and digital business.
"This significant investment in the distribution facility and our associates will allow us to more efficiently reach our customers and help to deliver on new ways to shop with Kroger, as we redefine the grocery customer experience through Restock Kroger," said Frank Bruni, Kroger's vice president of supply chain and logistics. "We have long appreciated the support from Boone County and the state of Kentucky, and look forward to growing together."
"It was less than a year ago that Kroger opened its distribution center in Boone County, and it is clear from this additional investment that the company recognizes Northern Kentucky as the best possible location for further success and growth," said Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin. "Distribution and logistics is a thriving industry in the commonwealth, and this announcement is just the latest confirmation of that fact. We greatly appreciate Kroger's confidence in the Northern Kentucky region and its ongoing commitment to investing and growing in our state."
Kentucky Senator John Schickel, of Union, said Northern Kentucky is on an economic development roll and Kroger's investment builds on that success.
"We are grateful to Kroger for this huge investment of nearly $18 million into our local economy in Boone County," said Senator Schickel. "Employment is on the rise in Northern Kentucky, and these 250 new jobs will keep our economic momentum going. Thanks to Governor Bevin and the folks at the Cabinet for Economic Development for making this expansion possible and for continuing to create a strong business climate in the commonwealth."
Kentucky Representative Sal Santoro, of Florence, noted the company's significant local presence and applauded the company for its continued commitment in Northern Kentucky.
"Kroger is very important to the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky region as it provides thousands of jobs," said Rep. Santoro. "I'm very thankful that the company has decided to invest in the thriving and growing region."
Boone County Judge-Executive Gary Moore applauded Kroger's commitment to innovation, technology, and job growth.
"Kroger continues to find ways to innovate and improve the customer grocery experience. The Mt. Zion facility will be a hub for Kroger's ecommerce and digital innovations and we are very pleased that jobs created by this expansion will contribute to not only the livelihood our of region, but also the redefinition of the grocery industry."
Kris Knochelmann, judge-executive of Kenton County and current Northern Kentucky Tri-ED board chair, said the region is well positioned for distribution-industry growth.
"Northern Kentucky continues to attract businesses that benefit from the extensive logistics infrastructure we have here. Our region is perfectly suited to complement Kroger's distribution expansion efforts and we recognize the significant investments Kroger continues to make in Northern Kentucky, which has a positive impact on our region and our community."
"We are excited to continue our economic growth in the region and welcome 250 new associates to our talented team," added Mr. Bruni.
The distribution facility will start to expand its team in September, and candidates can apply at jobs.Kroger.com.
Kroger currently employs more than 21,000 associates in Kentucky.
At The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), we are dedicated to our Purpose: to Feed the Human Spirit™. We are nearly half a million associates who serve over nine million customers daily through a seamless digital shopping experience and 2,779 retail food stores under a variety of banner names, serving America through food inspiration and uplift, and creating #ZeroHungerZeroWaste communities by 2025. To learn more about us, visit our newsroom and investor relations site.
SOURCE The Kroger Co.