Retail giant Walmart will invest $108 million to upgrade its regional distribution center in Seymour, Indiana, nearly doubling the facility’s shipping capacity. The project is part of a larger effort to renovate the company’s 42 regional distribution centers and modernize its supply chain network, according to Walmart.
The investment will add automation technology that will increase the speed with which merchandise gets sent to Walmart stores. It will also help retain the facility’s 914 employees, and provide new career opportunities by improving their robotics and technology skills, according to the Jackson County Industrial Development Corp. (JCIDC).
Last week, the Seymour City Council unanimously approved a 10-year tax abatement for the project, which according to JCIDC Executive Director Jim Plump will save the company about $6 million over the abatement period. Plump was joined at the meeting by Kevin Porter, senior manager for the Walmart tax department in Bentonville, Arkansas; and Mike Baecke, general manager for the Regional Distribution Center in Seymour.
“Walmart’s Seymour distribution center has been a pillar in our community for over 30 years. Adding robotics, automation and AI-powered software systems to this facility will revolutionize an already impressive operation, fundamentally changing the way we distribute products to stores,” Baecke said in a news release. “This isn’t just an investment in our facility but also in our associates, our community and our future.
“The improvements we’re making in our Seymour, Indiana, distribution center will be felt by store associates and customers in the surrounding region,” James Valenti, regional general manager for Walmart’s North Operations, commented in the news release. “For our store associates, these investments will make it significantly easier and faster to stock shelves, which results in our customers having the items they want when they want them.”
“We are thrilled that Walmart is making this investment in Seymour,” commented Mayor Matt Nicholson. “This is a significant investment and shows the company’s long-term commitment to our region.”
Walmart Opens High-Tech Fulfillment Center In McCordsville
Earlier this summer in McCordsville, Walmart celebrated the grand opening of a new 2.2 million square foot fulfillment center. The next generation facility, located 20 miles northeast of Indianapolis, is Walmart’s largest fulfillment center to date and will enable the retailer to fulfill more orders, more quickly.
“Indiana is proud to welcome this next generation Walmart fulfillment center, which represents a significant investment in our industry and our people,” said Ann Lathrop, chief strategy officer of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. “Walmart has long been a good corporate partner in Indiana, and we’re excited to see their commitment grow in Hancock County.”
The McCordsville fulfillment center is the second of four next generation facilities that brings the powerful combination of people, technology and machine learning together to achieve faster shipping and delivery, while increasing Walmart.com order fulfillment capacity.
The fulfillment center is designed to expand access to the retailer’s next- or two-day shipping. Combined with the rest of Walmart’s fulfillment network, these next generation fulfillment centers will enable the retailer to reach 95% of the U.S. population with the service. Walmart Fulfillment Services, Walmart’s end-to-end third-party fulfillment service, will also leverage the space to fulfill Marketplace items.
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“The McCordsville grand opening marks a major milestone in our supply chain modernization journey,” said Karisa Sprague, senior vice president, Fulfillment Network Operations for Walmart U.S. “With more customers shopping online, we’re leveraging state-of-the-art technology to increase speed of delivery all while creating tech empowered career opportunities for our associates.”
The McCordsville fulfillment center will be home to more than 1,000 Walmart associates.
“I’m pleased that nearly half of the associates in our McCordsville fulfillment center are continuing their career with us here after having worked in our Plainfield facility,” said Geoffrey Appleby, the general manager of the McCordsville fulfillment center. “And I’m excited to welcome new team members from the area. Together, we’ll focus on the community and our customers.”
Walmart employs over 43,000 associates in Indiana, and supports local business across the state, spending $1.1 billion with Indiana suppliers in fiscal year 2023 and supporting 33,373 supplier jobs.