US Walmart invests in two new fulfilment centres for e-commerce orders

US Walmart invests in two new fulfilment centres for e-commerce orders

On October 1, 2013 Walmart announced to invest into two new centres to cater to U.S. online orders, including one in Texas, the other one will be located in Pennsylvania (the largest ever in the company’s history)

These two new online fulfilment centres are forming part of the next generation fulfilment network that will deliver U.S. customer orders faster and at lower cost. In addition to these new and existing facilities dedicated to online orders, Walmart is uniquely positioned to ship online orders from stores and man of its more than 130 distribution centres, all leveraging its world class transportation network. The new online facilities extend Walmart’s anytime, anywhere experience, letting customers shop seamlessly across online, mobile and stores.

Joel Anderson, president and CEO of Walmart’s online business stated: “With our dedicated online facilities and 4100 stores within five miles of two thirds of the U.S. population, we gain a significant advantage by being positioned in the most important location – close to our customers! This unique combination allows us to get more products to our customers faster and at lower cost.” This holiday season, American customers will have access to more than five million products at Walmart online, over twice as many as 2012, including own items and items offered through marketplace sellers on the site. The company expects that this number will reach ten million items in the coming years.

Walmart expects sales from its e-commerce business to exceed USD 10 billion globally during this financial year. It already announced a growth of 30 £% in the quarter ended July 31, 2013. In addition to America, Walmart Global e-Commerce sales come primarily from Brazil, China and Great Britain. In just two years, e-commerce at Walmart and by organisational changes such as fulfilment centres has sped up by 15 %, while reducing overall costs by 10 % by optimising the way orders are shipped using Walmart’s different physical locations.  Part of this optimisation is enabled by algorithms developed by @walmartLabs. These determine the best shipping node based on the customer location and items ordered. The new centres will provide even faster delivery, while further reducing costs.

The announced new premises will also create more than 350 good, well-paying jobs for people of the Lehigh Valley (Pa.), commented Governor Tom Corbett. The two new facilities are providing more than 600 full time positions in Pennsylvania and Texas, and will likely add another 600 workers during holidays and other peak season. The Forth Worth facility will be operated by Brendwood, Tennessee based OHL, a global supply chain management solutions company. The Bethlehem, Pennsylvania centre will be fully operated by Walmart.

Each week, more than 245 million customers and members visit more than 10800 stores under 69 banners in 27 countries and e-commerce websites in 10 countries. Sales of fiscal 2013 are earmarked at about USD 466 billion. Walmart employs more than 2.2 million associates worldwide and continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy (see also Personalities of October 2, 2013), and employment opportunity.

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