Kroger to end delivery service from Homestead to Port St. Lucie in May

Operation began a little more than a year ago
Kroger delivery truck.
Posted at 8:40 PM, Mar 26, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-28 18:51:20-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Kroger on Tuesday announced it will end its grocery delivery service from Homestead to Port St. Lucie in May, a little more than a year after opening a spoke hub in the Miami area in the grocer's effort to enter the market dominated by Publix.

The company announced the service will stop on May 25 in South Florida along with operations in Austin and San Antonio in Texas.

"We do not make these decisions lightly, and we understand the impact this has on associates, customers and communities," Kroger said in a statement. "Despite our best efforts, including the support from new customers, learnings from other locations and the incredible work of our associates, these facilities do not meet the benchmarks we set for success."

Kroger has just one store in Florida — near the Georgia border. The company, based in Cincinnati, operates 2,719 grocery retail stores under its various banners and divisions in 35 states and the District of Columbia.

On Feb. 1, 2023, the company announced the opening of a new 60,000-square-foot spoke facility in South Florida and 90 new associates serving a 150-mile stretch along the coast. The facility worked in conjunction with the 375,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Groveland in Lake County.

Customers within 90 minutes of these sites can still order products: Groveland, Tampa, Jacksonville, Cocoa Beach.

Using robots, all orders within the Groveland facility are collected and placed in climate-controlled vehicles for travel to customers. They include cold and frozen products.

"This facility opening means customers can access Kroger's incredible selection of fresh items, unique Our Brands products and favorite national brands, as well as individualized offers for the groceries most important to their families – all delivered directly to their door by a friendly, professional Kroger associate," the company said at the time.

The Boost by Kroger Plus is an annual grocery delivery membership that can save customers up to $1,000 per year on fuel and grocery delivery for as little as $7.99 a month. Also, new customers can enjoy $15 off their first three orders.

Paid members in the closed areas will receive a 100% refund for their paid Boost by Kroger membership within 30 days for bimonthly and annual subscriptions and will not incur auto-renewal charges. Their paid Boost by Kroger membership will end on May 28 unless it is set to renew in the next 60 days, in which case it will expire at that time.

If your paid membership expires within the next 60 days, you will be eligible for a Free Delivery coupon – accessible through your Kroger account – for use before the closure

The South Florida market extended a collaboration between Kroger and Ocado Group, a world leader in technology for grocery e-commerce since 2018.

Kroger also operates customer fulfillment centers in Monroe, Ohio; Forest Park, Georgia; Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin; Dallas; Romulus, Michigan and Aurora, Colorado. Expansion also was planned in other areas.

The Federal Trade Commission is suing to block a Kroger-Albertson merger.

The South Florida area is heavily dominated by Publix Super Markets, Inc., an employee-owned supermarket chain headquartered in Lakeland with 867 stores in Florida.

Publix storefront

Publix has 37% of Florida’s grocery sales, while Walmart has a 26% market share, according to IRI. It doesn’t include Costco and dollar store retailers.

These companies also have an option for home delivery.

In August, Aldi announced it is planning to buy all Winn-Dixie grocery stores, including approximately 400 locations in the southern United States. Aldi, based in Germany, already has 216 retail locations in Florida. There are eight Winn-Dixie locations in Palm Beach County and none on the Treasure Coast.

Sprouts Farmers Market.jpeg

Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc., a supermarket chain headquartered in Phoenix, has expanded into Florida with 45 stores, including in Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Jupiter, Stuart, Port St. Lucie, western Boca Raton, West Palm Beach.

file photo
file photo

Amazon, which offers online sales for groceries, operates Whole Foods retail stores, including five in Palm Beach County and none on the Treasure Coast.

In 2023, Amazon scrapped plans to open its Amazon Fresh grocery stores in South Florida, including one at Uptown Boca. That location is slated for a Whole Foods Market.