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Retail, Technology

Walmart to Roll Out Four High-Tech Next Generation Fulfillment Center

The retail giant has announced plans to open four major fullfiment facilities, each between 1 million plus to 2.2 million square feet in size, in the next three years to offer customers next- or two-day shipping on more items.

RugNews.com Editors
6/3/2022
Walmart worker in new state of the art distribution center
Walmart Rolls Out Four High-Tech Next Generation Fulfillment Center

BENTONVILLE, Ark. --Walmart announced plans to build four new high-tech fulfillment centers, the first slated to open later this year in Joliet, Illinois, as part of an effort to grow its offering of next- and two-day shipping items.

The new fulfillment centers will implement state-of-the-art automation technology that provides customers and Walmart+ members in Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Ohio with access to next- or two-day shipping on millions of items, setting an entirely new precedent for Walmart on the speed of fulfillment, the company stated.

“Our new next generation fulfillment center is a first-of-its-kind for Walmart that will transform the way we ship online orders to customers,” said David Guggina, senior vice president, automation, and innovation at Walmart. “Through our automated storage system and patent-pending five step process, we’ll not only provide increased comfort for associates but also double the storage capacity and double the number of customer orders we’re able to fulfill in a day.”

Said Karisa Sprague, senior vice president, supply chain e-commerce fulfillment at Walmart. “We continue to modernize our supply chain network and prepare for growth in our digital business, and [the] new [facilities] will play an integral role in helping us serve even more customers and Walmart+ members with access to fast shipping on millions of items.”

These fulfillment centers will be the first of their kind for Walmart, using a combination of people, robotics, and machine learning to set a new precedent for the company on the speed of fulfillment while continuing to create a more positive work environment for our associates.

Walmart partnered with Knapp, a tech company for intelligent fulfillment solutions, to develop an automated, high-density storage system that streamlines a manual, twelve-step process into just five steps. The retailer has been developing the new system in its fulfillment center in Pedricktown, New Jersey, and reports the benefits of this technology are wide-ranging and include: more comfort for associates, double the storage capacity and double the number of customer orders we’re able to fulfill in a day.

According to the company, these four next generation facilities alone could provide 75 percent of the U.S. population with next- or two-day shipping on millions of items, including Marketplace items shipped by Walmart Fulfillment Services. Combined with its traditional fulfillment centers, the company said it can reach 95 percent of the U.S. population with next- or two-day shipping, and by making use of the expansive reach of its stores, it will be able to offer same-day delivery to 80 percent of the U.S. population. These four next generation facilities will also collectively employ more than 4,000 associates while introducing brand new tech-focused jobs like control technicians, quality audit analysts and flow managers.

The fulfillment center will be hiring full-time positions, including new tech-focused jobs like control technicians, quality audit analysts and flow managers.

Walmart associates are provided a path of opportunity beginning on their first day. Associates may participate in Walmart’s Live Better U program, where they can earn a college degree in business, technology, supply chain management or more without the burden of debt, with Walmart paying 100 percent of college tuition and books. Other career advancing opportunities include Walmart Supply Chain Academies, which pay associates to learn through immersive teaching that combines technology, classroom training and ongoing coaching in role.

“We look forward to supporting Walmart as they grow their Indiana operations and provide jobs for Hoosiers,” said Brock Herr, senior vice president of business development, Indiana Economic Development Corporation.

Full-time positions qualify for Walmart’s total rewards and benefits plans, including medical, vision and dental insurance, 401(k) matching, paid time off and stock purchase plan. Associates also have access to a tuition-paid college degree through Walmart’s Live Better U. Candidates can search for open positions and complete applications online at careers.walmart.com.
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