After more than a decade of attempts, Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) is finally planning to open a location in New York City, but it won’t be a Walmart store.
Instead, the retailer announced on Tuesday that it will open an ecommerce fulfillment center in the Bronx, leased by Jet.com, the online startup Walmart bought two years ago.
Walmart purchased Jet for USD 3.3 Million, according to Business Insider. Jet will use another Walmart subsidiary, Parcel, to deliver goods from the new warehouse. Parcel is a delivery service that Walmart purchased in 2017. The Company uses technology that provides live updates about delivery status to customers.
Opening this fall, the fulfillment center will be designed to deliver fresh grocery items, consumable goods like paper towels and toothpaste, and some other merchandise to New York City addresses, either the same day or next day delivery. The delivery of fresh food is difficult, because meats, fruits and vegetables can easily spoil or get damaged in transit to consumers. However, in dense cities like New York, cars can reach many people within short distances.
Walmart’s decision to open an ecommerce center in New York City is another step in its goal to heavily invest in its online grocery business. It had previously announced plans to expand its online delivery service to around 800 stores by the end of the year. It also has plans to re-outfit its stores to support mobile and online delivery, as well as converting some of its Sam’s Clubs into facility centers for Walmart’s online business.
Plans to head to the Big Apple will help Jet’s push to appeal to “urban millennials,” a subset that is separate from Walmart’s traditional rural and suburban shoppers.