The facility will also allow the retailer to ship orders from Walmart.com to more than 160 million consumers within a two-day window.
“By combining large-scale online fulfillment centers with Wal-Mart’s distribution centers, world-class transportation network and 4,200 stores, we have the ability to get incredibly close to our customers to deliver orders faster and at a lower cost,” says Brent Beabout, senior vice president of supply chain and logistics for Wal-Mart Global eCommerce.
Those 4,200 stores are within five miles of two-thirds of the U.S. population, the company says. And it’s been using them to fill online orders. A Wal-Mart spokesperson says more than 20% of online orders are now shipped from a store—the majority of those arriving within two days. The company has sped up delivery times by 15% and lowered delivery costs by 22% over the past two years, with store fulfillment and dedicated e-commerce fulfillment centers cited as part of the reason.
@WalmartLabs, Wal-Mart’s e-commerce innovation arm, has been working to optimize the fulfillment and delivery process, the spokesperson says, including developing algorithms to determine the best location for shipping each order. @WalmartLabs announced in May it would double its staff this year.
Wal-Mart does not disclose the number or the location of fulfillment centers in its network, but the retailer announced the opening of two e-commerce fulfillment centers last year in Texas and Pennsylvania.
Walmart.com is No. 2 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.