FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 27, 2022) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear welcomed the expanded presence of a major Kentucky employer, as Kroger Fulfillment Network LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Kroger Co., plans to locate a new e-commerce spoke facility in Louisville that will create 161 quality job opportunities.
“I want to thank leaders at Kroger not only for this announcement, but also for their continued commitment to the commonwealth over many years,” Gov. Beshear said. “Kroger has long been a vital part of Kentucky’s growing economy, and this new location helps ensure that will continue to be the case for years to come. I’m grateful for the company’s expanding presence in our state.”
Kroger will lease an existing 50,000-square-foot facility on Robards Lane in Louisville. The new location will expand Kroger’s fresh grocery delivery capabilities and support its high-tech customer fulfillment center in Monroe, Ohio, by extending the company’s delivery reach to provide even more customers with access to fresh, affordable food. Jobs created at the facility will include delivery van drivers, with operations expected to begin later this year.
“We’re proud to expand the Kroger fulfillment network to Louisville,” said Gabriel Arreaga, Kroger’s senior vice president and chief supply chain officer. “The new service is an innovative addition to the expanding digital shopping experience available to Kroger customers. The network’s delivery spoke facility will provide unmatched customer service and improve access to fresh food in areas eager for the variety and value offered by Kroger direct to their homes.”
Kroger was founded in 1883 and is headquartered in downtown Cincinnati. The company has grown into the largest traditional grocer in the U.S., with more than 2,700 stores in 35 states, nearly a half-million associates and annual sales in excess of $132 billion.
Kroger maintains 112 stores in Kentucky, employing more than 19,000 associates. The commonwealth also is home to four manufacturing and distribution facilities that service the company, as well as a regional headquarters in Louisville. Since 1987, Kroger’s floral designers have created the famous Kentucky Derby Garland of Roses, and Kroger and the University of Kentucky in 2017 entered a 12-year marketing agreement that included renaming the university’s football stadium to Kroger Field.
Kroger’s growth in Kentucky adds to the state’s thriving logistics and distribution sector. Last year, distribution companies throughout the state announced over 1,000 full-time, Kentucky-resident jobs across more than 30 facility expansions and new-location projects with $181.7 million in private-sector investment.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said the company continues to be a great partner within the community.
“Today’s announcement is the latest way that Kroger is showing its commitment to the Louisville market,” Mayor Fischer said. “Kroger has long been a valued partner in our community, providing jobs, reinvesting in our city through continued growth and giving back through its charity. Thank you to the Kroger team!”
Kroger’s investment and planned job creation furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, as the state builds back stronger from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Governor noted that this was among five economic development projects announced Thursday that alone represent $160.9 million in new investments that will create 1,003 new jobs for Kentuckians.
In 2021, the commonwealth shattered every economic development record in the books. Private-sector new-location and expansion announcements included a record $11.2 billion in total planned investment and commitments to create a record 18,000-plus full-time jobs across the coming years. Kentucky’s average incentivized hourly wage for projects statewide in 2021 was $24 before benefits, a 9.4% increase over the previous year.
In September, Gov. Beshear, Ford Motor Co. Executive Chair Bill Ford and CEO Jim Farley, along with Dong-Seob Jee, president of SK Innovation’s battery business, announced the single largest economic development project in the history of the commonwealth, celebrating a transformative $5.8 billion investment that will create 5,000 jobs and places Kentucky at the forefront of the automotive industry’s future.
Kentucky also saw an all-time, record-setting budget surplus in fiscal year 2021 and enters 2022 with an estimated $1.9 billion more than budgeted.
In addition, Kentucky recently placed seventh overall in Site Selection magazine’s annual Business Climate Rankings. The commonwealth ranked third nationally in the 2020 projects per capita ranking and fifth in the 2021 Prosperity Cup rankings, positioning the state among the national leaders for business climate.
The Governor’s recent budget proposal calls for $250 million in one-time funds to develop a Site Identification and Development Program that will help the commonwealth continue its economic development momentum by modernizing infrastructure so we’re able to attract the next Ford- or Toyota-size project. The fund will help communities grow small economic development sites into larger sites and help them prepare sites to be not just shovel-ready, but build-ready.
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) on Thursday preliminarily approved a 10-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $2 million in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $4.1 million and annual targets of:
- Creation and maintenance of 161 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 10 years; and
- Paying an average hourly wage of $30 including benefits across those jobs.
By meeting its annual targets over the agreement term, the company can be eligible to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates. The company may claim eligible incentives against its income tax liability and/or wage assessments.
In addition, Kroger can receive resources from Kentucky’s workforce service providers. Those include no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job-training incentives.
For more information on Kroger, visit Kroger.com.
A detailed community profile for Jefferson County can be viewed here.
Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at CED.ky.gov. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion at facebook.com/CEDkygov, on Twitter @CEDkygov, Instagram @CEDkygov and LinkedIn.
Read about other key updates, actions and information from Gov. Beshear and his administration at governor.ky.gov, kycovid19.ky.gov and the Governor’s official social media accounts Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.