Parent company of Fry's to team up with British firm to expand online grocery shopping

Grocery store chain Fry’s is partnering with a British firm to open a giant fulfillment center in Phoenix, as the chain promises to be a better and faster way to get food to people's front door.

The exact location of the fulfillment center hasn’t been announced yet, and the center will take two years to complete after groundbreaking. However, whatever is built will be the exact opposite to the old concept of a grocery store.

Imagine a giant warehouse on par with a professional sports stadium, filled with the latest technology food picking robots that take people's order, and send it out the door.

"They utilize robots to get the item picked quickly, and get them to the customer or stores for a seamless shopping experience," said Fry's spokesperson Pam Giannonatti.

Frys is partnering with Ocado, which operates state-of-the-art automated warehouses with digital robotic technology to deliver food for curbside pick up or directly to people's door. The warehouse project promises to bring hundreds of jobs.

"It’s expected to bring, over a five-year period, 700 jobs in the Valley, and will include positions for management to transportation to customer service," said Giannonatti.

The City of Phoenix has signed on for the deal, paying an incentive to Fry's parent company, Kroger, to the tune of nearly $700,000 over a four-year period. That works out to about $1,000 per full-time employee making over $44,000 a year.