Walmart (NYSE: WMT) is set to build four warehouses that feature high-tech machinery as it strives to execute quicker deliveries and expand its online business. According to the company, once the new centers are up and running, along with the company’s other distribution centers and 4,700 stores, the company will be able to provide same-day shipping to 80% of the U.S. population.
The first next-generation fulfillment center will open in Joliet, Illinois, this summer, according to Dave Guggina, senior vice president of innovation and automation at Walmart U.S. The other three centers will open throughout the next three years.
“While there are countless ways we strive to earn customers’ trust, delivering on our promise of fast shipping and delivery has never been more important to us. Today we use our 31 dedicated e-commerce fulfillment centers and 4,700 stores located within 10 miles of 90% of the U.S. population to fulfill online orders at exceptional speed. But we’re not stopping there,” Guggina wrote.
Walmart is working on the centers with tech company Knapp, which will develop an automated strategy for fulfillment and cut down its current 12-step process to five.
“We’ve been perfecting this system in our fulfillment center in Pedricktown, New Jersey, and have seen how 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,” Guggina said.
According to the retailer, it will hire 4,000 people to work at the new warehouses.