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Plans call for Itasca's Magic DSD solution to roll out to Kroger’s nearly 2,800 stores under more than 20 banners in 35 states.

Kroger to implement next-gen DSD solution

Supermarket giant partners with Itasca Retail to automate direct-store delivery across store base

The Kroger Co. is collaborating with inventory technology firm Itasca Retail to deploy a modernized software system for receiving deliveries in thousands of its stores.

West Des Moines, Iowa-based Itasca said this week that it will install its Magic DSD solution in Kroger’s nearly 2,800 stores under more than 20 banners in 35 states. The direct-store delivery system automates several receiving tasks while retaining core functionality that is familiar to store associates, the tech company noted.

The Kroger software deployment will focus on direct-store deliveries of products like bread, dairy, beer and soft drinks, according to Itasca. The items come to the store from suppliers or distributors without going through the grocer’s distribution centers. A standard industry practice, DSD accounts for roughly one-third of the volume sold in supermarkets nationwide, Itasca reported.

“Process simplification and modernization is a priority for Kroger,” Chris Harris, director of asset protection and safety for Cincinnati-based Kroger, said in a statement. “Itasca’s software will be essential to this journey and will improve daily job functions for our associates.”

Itasca said the automation of DSD receiving eliminates out-of-stocks and saves labor costs, giving associates more time to focus on serving customers.

“We like to describe our solution as ‘Total DSD Management,’” explained Jeff Kennedy, president of Itasca Retail. “It creates a closed-loop process from order creation through receiving, allowing retailers to measure vendor service levels easily. We are proud that Kroger has put its trust in us to deliver the enhanced DSD functionality they require to provide their shoppers with the best possible service levels.”

Earlier this year, a couple of other supermarket operators adopted Itasca Magic solutions. In January, Itasca announced that HAC Inc., an employee-owned regional grocer based in Oklahoma City, planned to install Magic Computer Generated Ordering chainwide. The retailer operates 80 stores under the Homeland, United, Cash Saver, Food World and Piggly Wiggly banners in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and Georgia.

Then in February, Itasca reported that Scranton, S.C.-based grocery wholesaler/retailer W. Lee Flowers was implementing Itasca’s Magic Computer Generated Ordering and DSD Receiving systems across its 63 IGA and KJ’s Market supermarkets in the Carolinas and Georgia. W. Lee Flowers is part of grocery distributor/retailer Alex Lee Inc., parent of supermarket banners Lowes Foods and Just Save Foods.

Other Itasca supermarket customers include Sobeys, Price Chopper, Big Y Foods, Tops Friendly Markets, Raley’s, Weis Markets, SpartanNash, Cardenas Markets and Brookshire Brothers.

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