As part of a long-term attempt to improve its ability to fulfil online orders for food pickup and delivery, Walmart plans to install compact modular warehouses to several of its supercenters. Bentonville’s 406 S. Walton Blvd. is one of such stores.
The retail behemoth announced on Tuesday (Jan. 26) that it will automate local fulfilment centres connected to Walmart shops. The idea is based on an experiment that has been running since late 2019 in Salem, New Hampshire, using Alphabot automation and a smaller-scale robotic system that was installed two years ago in a supercenter at 4208 S. Pleasant Crossing Blvd. in Rogers.
Walmart did not reveal the price of the enlarged system or any changes in employment as a result of the new initiative. Walmart CEO Doug McMillon recently stated that as the pandemic spread, the company increased online grocery pickup and delivery capacity, recruiting 500,000 workers in the previous year to assist with order picking and fulfilment in stores and distribution centres due to extraordinary demand.
Store No. 100, the Bentonville supercenter, is expanding to become a local fulfilment centre that will serve numerous area stores, according to Talk Business & Politics. Walmart did not specify how many local stores will be included in the expansion. A 45,000-square-foot extension to the store was approved by city authorities in December.
Walmart’s senior vice president of consumer product, Tom Ward, said the business has dozens of locations scheduled for automation, with many more on the way. A compact modular warehouse built within or attached to a store, he characterised the local fulfilment centre buildout. According to him, fulfilment centres may hold thousands of things that are frequently online order fulfillment walmart by clients, including frozen foods, consumables, and gadgets.
“Automated bots retrieve things from within the fulfilment centre, rather than a personal shopper walking the store to fulfil an order from shelves,” Ward explained. “The items are subsequently delivered to a picking workstation, where the order is quickly assembled. Personal shoppers have always been the key to our pickup and delivery success, and we still believe that. So, as the system retrieves the online order fulfillment walmart for assembly, a personal shopper selects fresh things from the sales floor, such as produce, meat, and seafood, as well as huge general merchandise items.”
Ward explained that after an order is collected, it is stored in the system until it is ready to be picked up. From the time an order is placed to the time it is ready for collection by a client or delivery person, the procedure can take as little as a few minutes.
“The technology is astounding.” The results, which include increased availability, faster fulfilment, and more efficiency, are equally noteworthy.” Ward remarked.
According to Walmart, automation enables for faster order picking, resulting in increased availability for customers. Orders can be picked up or delivered within an hour thanks to the system’s quickness. In addition, a single local fulfilment centre may online order fulfillment walmart for several businesses, resulting in increased operational efficiency. Walmart will establish local fulfilment centres using a variety of technology vendors, including Alert Innovation, Alphabot automation (which was utilised in Salem and Rogers), and Dematic and Fabic technologies, according to Ward.
“We’ll be exploring different orientations and add-on technologies with these providers to see what works best in diverse situations.” For example, we’ll be expanding our stores in various places. “In some cases, the fulfilment facilities will be built within the footprint of the existing store,” Ward explained.
He stated that the firm will add automatic pickup stations to some outlets. Customers will be able to drive up, scan a code, and pick up their order and leave.
“It’s no secret that our customers appreciate how quickly and easily we can pick up and deliver their orders. These local fulfilment centres let us unlock our capacity to expand even quicker in order to satisfy client demands now, while also laying the groundwork for future service. Ward stated, “We’re excited about this new chapter for our company and what it means for our clients.”