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Walmart’s Warehouse Expansion Proves E-Com Isn’t Going Anywhere
Walmart is here to prove that the e-commerce boom is only just beginning, with plans to build new distribution centres for online orders in Texas.
Walmart is planning to expand its e-commerce offering with the build of a USD800 million distribution centre near Dallas.
The plans include two e-commerce facilities, staffed with robots to handle the online orders rapidly and accurately.
“This whole process can take just a few minutes from the time the order is placed to the time it’s ready for a customer or delivery driver to collect,” explained Tom Ward, the Head of Customer Product at Walmart.
It will sit next to or within existing brick-and-mortar stores, using autonomous robots to fulfil orders and fetch items for online orders. Staff will complete more complex orders, such as handling perishable goods and foods, as well as the last-mile services.
Walmart’s online sales shot up 79 percent in the third quarter, compared to the same period in 2019. Walmart’s e-commerce sales for Q3 FY21 has reached an estimated USD46.2 billion.
The pandemic accelerated the push for delivery alternatives, such as curbside collection, which have been implemented in many of its stores across the US.
This has escalated costs for the retailer, but automation is said to reduce the cost of these pickup orders by approximately 75 percent.
In 2020, Walmart owned an estimated 30 percent of the total online food and beverage orders. In the US, online groceries are becoming the biggest push for retailers such as Walmart and Amazon, which are rapidly going head to head for the top spot in the category.
The online grocery market is predicted to reach the USD98.83 billion mark this year. The new automated distribution centres for Walmart will help the retailer inch its way closer to becoming the leader in the sphere.
“It’s no secret our customers love the speed and convenience of pickup and delivery. These local fulfillment centers help unlock our ability to expand even faster to meet their needs today, while also setting a new foundation to serve them in the future. We’re excited about this new chapter for our business and what it means for our customers,” the retailer shared on its website.