Harris Teeter’s parent company will add nearly 700 jobs at a new, $92 million fulfillment center in Concord.
Kroger Co. will receive a $2.3 million Job Development Investment Grant to add 692 jobs over five years, it was announced during the N.C. Department of Commerce’s Economic Investment Committee meeting Wednesday. The grant term is for 12 years.
That is part of a total package of state and local incentives of $7.2 million, according to state documents. As part of the package, Cabarrus County will provide $1.2 million in incentives, and the city of Concord will have $791,846 in incentives.
Kroger told the state it intends to spend $92 million on the project by Dec. 31, 2023.
“These new jobs and investment will help many families in our area for years to come,” N.C. Senator Paul Newton said in a statement from Gov. Roy Cooper’s office.
The average salary will be $42,107. The average annual salary in Cabarrus County is $41,255.
The convenience of delivery
The new customer fulfillment center will help serve more people to fill online orders for same-day and next-day delivery services.
”It puts on the cutting edge of what has become a very popular trend,” said Steve Morris, chairman of the Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners. “This is a more efficient way of accomplishing those trips the grocery.”
Morris said like other people throughout the pandemic, he experienced the convenience of shopping from home and having groceries delivered.
“I think that that is a trend that is probably going to continue,” Morris said.
Robots at the Kroger plant
The automated customer fulfillment center will use robots to help pack customer orders for delivery, as well as optimize delivery routes to consider factors such as road conditions and fuel efficiency, said Susan Rather, an analyst for the N.C. Department of Commerce.
The Kroger Fulfillment Network, which is leading the project, operates a network for ambient, chilled and frozen groceries, according to a news release.
“The acceleration of our delivery business continues with the development of an additional customer fulfillment center,” Gabriel Arreaga, Kroger’s senior vice president and chief supply chain officer, said in a statement from Gov. Roy Cooper’s Office.
Competition with South Carolina
Concord was in competition with two sites in York County, S.C., for the center, in Rock Hill and Fort Mill, according to NC documents.
The fulfillment facility will be about 200,000-square-feet, according to Kroger. The company has not yet closed on a property, Kroger spokeswoman Kristal Howard said.
Harris Teeter has two distribution centers in North Carolina, right outside Charlotte in Indian Trail and in Greensboro, with a combined about 1,776 employees.
The grocer has over 35,000 employees in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Maryland, Delaware, Florida and the District of Columbia. There are more than 10,800 employees in North Carolina.