This week in Joliet, IL, Walmart celebrated the grand opening of the first of four next generation fulfillment centers (FC) announced earlier this year. Walmart FCs store millions of items sold on Walmart.com that are then picked, packed and shipped directly to customers. The new state-of-the-art facility will also fulfill Marketplace items shipped by Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS), an end-to-end fulfillment service for third-party eCommerce sellers. The operation will employ more than 1,000 local full-time associates by the end of the year.
“As the first-of-its-kind for Walmart, our newly opened facility introduces an array of opportunities to our associates, including brand new tech-focused jobs. There’s never been a more exciting time to join Walmart Supply Chain,” said James Bright III, general manager, Fulfillment Center FC3040. “I look forward to seeing the positive impact this team of associates and the Joliet facility will have on not only the Northeast Illinois community and economy, but also for Walmart customers across the Midwest.”
The new 1.1 million-square-foot Joliet fulfillment center will feature a new patent-pending process powered by the combination of people, robotics and machine learning. This process will set a new precedent in fulfillment speed by streamlining a manual 12-step process to just five steps. Once completed, Walmart’s four new FCs could provide 75 percent of the U.S. population with next- or two-day shipping.
“Customers continue to expect faster delivery times and we are excited to be able to meet those needs with these new high-tech facilities,” said Karisa Sprague, SVP Fulfillment Network Operations, Walmart U.S. “The addition of the Joliet next generation FC, paired with our 31 dedicated eCommerce fulfillment centers, will allow Walmart to fulfill online orders for Walmart.com and Walmart+ customers with greater shipping speed in the mid-west region. And, with the holidays around the corner, we’re excited to provide a more seamless experience for our customers.”
“This new facility capitalizes on the way consumers are shopping today by ensuring products get to homes faster, all while providing good jobs to local families,” said State Rep. Larry Walsh Jr., “While this fulfillment center will have an impact across the Midwest, the impact felt locally will be greatest due to the commitment made to our local community and the jobs being created for workers here in our region.”