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Kroger to Add 250 Jobs at Boone Co. Distribution Facility
Ohio Ag Connection - 07/10/2018

Only nine months after opening, a Kroger distribution center in Florence will add 250 full-time associates, majority full-time roles, as the company invests nearly $18 million at the facility to support its ecommerce and digital services, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin announced Monday.

"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, Bevin said. "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."

Kroger will purchase new equipment and upgrade technology at its 674,000-square-foot facility on Mount Zion Rd., which opened in October 2017 as a replenishment center to service the company s direct-to-store distribution centers across the eastern half of the US. The new project will further support the company s growing ecommerce and digital offerings. The facility currently employs approximately 80 associates.

"The facility has been a great success for the company since it opened, and we are excited to expand and continue our growth with the support of Boone County and the state of Kentucky," said Frank Bruni, Kroger's vice president of supply chain and logistics. "We appreciate the partnership with local leaders and the community, and look forward to adding 250 new associates from the area to help us redefine the grocery customer experience through Restock Kroger."

Kroger was founded in 1883 by Barney Kroger in downtown Cincinnati, where it remains headquartered. The company since grew to be the largest traditional grocer in America with 2,800 stores in 35 states, nearly a half-million associates and annual sales in excess of $122 billion.

Kroger maintains 114 stores and seven jewelry stores in Kentucky, employing 21,225 people. The commonwealth also is home to four manufacturing and distribution facilities, as well as a regional headquarters in Louisville. For more than 20 years, Kroger s floral designers have created the famous Kentucky Derby Garland of Roses, and last year, Kroger and the University of Kentucky entered a 12-year marketing agreement that included renaming the university s football stadium to Kroger Field.

Sen. 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," Schickel said. "Employment is on the rise in Northern Kentucky, and these 250 new jobs will keep our economic momentum going. Thanks to Gov. 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."

Rep. 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," Santoro said. "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," Moore said. "The Mount Zion facility will be a hub for Kroger s e-commerce 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."

To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in June preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $1 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the agreement term through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.

In addition, Kroger can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies can receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives. In fiscal year 2017, the Kentucky Skills Network provided training for more than 120,000 Kentuckians and 5,700 companies from a variety of industry sectors.

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