US supermarket chain Kroger and British online supermarket Ocado have started construction on a new customer fulfilment centre (CFC) in Groveland, Florida.

The 375,000ft centre is being built with an investment of $55m and is expected to be in operation by 2021.

Located at 7925 American Way in Groveland, the new centre is likely to create up to 400 new jobs in the area.

Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen said: “Kroger is excited to enter Florida to redefine the customer experience through our industry-leading partnership with Ocado.

“Kroger is excited to enter Florida to redefine the customer experience through our industry-leading partnership with Ocado.”

“There’s a substantial demand for Kroger products and services in the state, and we’re eager to offer a new and seamless experience through the customer fulfilment centre, leveraging advanced robotics technology and creative solutions to provide customers with anything, anytime, anywhere.”

The Groveland CFC design is based on Kroger’s first CFC, which is under construction in Monroe, Ohio.

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Kroger and Ocado’s exclusive partnership started in May 2018 and was made to bring the UK retailer’s innovation and technologies to the US.

As part of the alliance, the partners have planned to open 20 CFCs over the first three years of the agreement. They have identified Forest Park in Georgia and the Mid-Atlantic region as two additional sites for the development of new, automated warehouse facilities.

Ocado Group CEO Tim Steiner said: “This is another significant milestone for Kroger and Ocado, and a big step toward a nationwide revolution in how Kroger customers experience grocery ecommerce.

“Our partnership is also creating exciting opportunities for technologists and engineers to work with Ocado’s cutting-edge robotics and automation. As this site develops, we look forward to welcoming new talent to our skilled, dedicated and growing teams across the United States.”