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Walmart transforms grocery stores with high-tech fulfillment

Walmart transforms grocery stores with high-tech fulfillment
Walmart transforms grocery stores with high-tech fulfillment

Walmart automated perishable goods distribution center.

A pallet in a Walmart automated distribution center.

Walmart Inc. is building, expanding and retrofitting fulfillment centers with next-generation technologies to improve its food supply chain.

The discount giant, which said before By 2026, more than half of its fulfillment centers could be automated. The company has publicly unveiled a three-pronged strategy that includes investments in data, intelligent software and automation to create a more connected and responsive food supply chain.

The initiative focuses on the areas of new construction, expansion and conversion of food distribution centers:

  • New buildings — Walmart is in the process of building five state-of-the-art perishable distribution centers. The first center, in Shafter, California, has been operational since 2021. The second, in Lancaster, Texas, is beginning operations and will be followed by facilities in Wellford, South Carolina, Belvidere, Illinois, and Pilesgrove, New Jersey. Walmart says that these facilities will create around 2,000 new jobs.
  • Extensions — The retailer is adding more than 500,000 square feet of automation per location to four traditional perishable distribution centers to increase fresh produce capacity. Walmart will expand its facilities in Mankato, Minnesota; Mebane, North Carolina; Garrett, Indiana; and Shelbyville, Tennessee.
  • Retrofits – Walmart is modernizing its perishables distribution center in Winter Haven, Florida, and is incorporating advanced technologies into the facility, and the retailer is seeking to learn more about the feasibility and requirements of retrofitting an existing grocery store building with automation technology.