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How Walmart Is Ensuring Faster Delivery, Better Availability This Holiday Season

Next-gen fulfillment centers, new strategies aiding retailer with online and in-store orders
Emily Crowe, Progressive Grocer
Walmart fulfillment
Walmart is speeding up order fulfillment thanks to it's next-generation facilities.

After spending the past several years enhancing its supply chain, store and delivery capabilities, Walmart plans to leverage its new strengths to provide better speed, accuracy and availability this holiday season. This will be the first year the retailer will be able to extend its next-generation supply chain capabilities to customers both online and in-store.

Walmart customers can now select Express Delivery and receive items in as few as 30 minutes, with Late Night Delivery services also available until 10:30 p.m. across 4,000 locations. Same-day delivery and in-home delivery options are also available.

“As we head into the holiday season, we feel confident that we’ll deliver on these propositions with speed thanks to stores being staffed and ready, as well as more independent contractors driving on the Spark Driver platform than ever before,” wrote David Guggina, EVP of supply chain and Jennifer McKeehan, SVP of transportation and delivery, Walmart U.S., and Parvez Musani, SVP of end-to-end fulfillment. “By maximizing the use of our stores and leveraging our last-mile network, we offer something no other retailer can – same-day delivery to more than 80% of the U.S. population.”

Additionally, with the first of its next-generation fulfillment centers now up and running in Joliet, Ill.; McCordsville, Ind.; and Lancaster, Texas, Walmart is able to offer a larger assortment of products that are available to ship the next day. The company’s artificial intelligence-powered inventory management system also positions products according to customer demand, while its automated distribution centers can deliver department-ready pallets that can be placed directly to the sales floor.

Walmart will also make seven automated market fulfillment centers operational by Thanksgiving, which are strategically located in its stores and stock thousands of the most sought-after items. Inventory within these centers is distinct from items available on the sales floor and is set up specifically to fulfill pickup and delivery orders, heightening accuracy and minimizing the need for substitutions.

“We know convenience and speed of delivery are top of mind for customers, and we’ve done a lot to prepare in advance of the holiday season,” Guggina, McKeehan and Musani wrote. “We’re ready to deliver the holiday magic to our customers with speed and precision, helping them spend less time worrying and more time focusing on what matters most.”

Each week, approximately 230 million customers and members visit Walmart’s more than 10,500 stores and numerous e-commerce websites under 46 banners in 24 countries. The Bentonville, Ark.-based company employs approximately 2.3 million associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, while its Sam’s Club division is No. 8. PG also named Walmart one of its Retailers of the Century.

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