A week after announcing plans for a new e-commerce fulfillment center, Walmart has lined up another one.
Walmart said Wednesday that it aims to build a 1 million-square-foot fulfillment center in Salt Lake City to fill online orders placed on Walmart.com. To be located at 990 N 6550 W, just outside the city near the airport, the facility is expected to open in the summer of 2022 and create about 450 full-time jobs across the region.
Last week, the Bentonville, Ark.-based retail giant unveiled plans to erect a 925,000-square-foot automated fulfillment center in Lebanon, Tenn., slated to go into operation in the fall of 2022.
The Salt Lake City facility won’t be automated. Walmart operates three distribution centers and 59 stores and employs over 20,000 associates in Utah.
“Walmart is excited to welcome our first fulfillment center in Salt Lake City to support our growing e-commerce fulfillment network,” Steve Miller, senior vice president of supply chain operations at Walmart U.S., said in a statement. “This new facility is the latest of example of Walmart’s commitment to offering customers fast shipping on items they need every day, and we look forward to further delivering on that promise with the development of this new, state-of-the-art facility.”
Unlike distribution centers, which receive, house and distribute products to Walmart stores, fulfillment centers process online orders and hold millions of items to be picked, packed and shipped directly to customers, as soon as the next day, according to Walmart. The company said the Salt Lake City facility is part of a broader effort to boost capacity in its supply chain to fuel omnichannel growth.
When reporting fiscal 2022 third-quarter results last month, Walmart said U.S. online sales rose 8% year over year and were up 87% on a two-year stack. And with the growth of its omnichannel presence, Walmart noted that fulfillment centers have become a linchpin of its plan to ramp up supply chain capacity.
Much of that effort will entail the use of automation to support rising demand, improve the customer experience and raise productivity, according to Walmart. In July, the company unveiled plans to automate 25 of its 42 regional distribution centers (RDCs) with robotics and other automation technology.
Besides the new Tennessee automated fulfillment center announced earlier this month, Walmart in October said it aims to build a high-tech distribution center for fresh and frozen food in Lyman, S.C., which will be the retailer’s biggest grocery DC to date. Due to open in 2024, the more than 720,000-square-foot facility will move twice as much grocery product — including perishables such as produce, eggs, dairy, flowers and frozen goods — in supplying area stores via a combination of manual labor and automation, robotics and machine learning technology, the retailer reported.
About two weeks later, in November, Walmart unveiled plans to build two high-tech DCs in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The project in Lancaster, Texas, includes a 1.5 million-square-foot automated fulfillment center expected to open in 2023 and a 730,000-square-foot automated grocery DC slated to open in 2024. Walmart said the facilities will be among the largest automated fulfillment and distribution centers in its network.