Walmart Canada has invested more than CAD $118 million to build a new high-tech sortable fulfillment center in Rocky View County, Alberta, located just outside of Calgary, to increase its e-commerce capabilities to better serve Walmart customers.
Alberta is a key province for Walmart, with 61 stores and four distribution centers, employing more than 16,000 associates. In 2021, the retailer invested more than CAD $50 million in store upgrades in Alberta.
The new sortable fulfillment facility is part of Walmart Canada's CAD $3.5 billion investment to make the online and in-store shopping experience simpler, faster and more convenient for customers as the retailer plans to invest for continued growth in Alberta and across Canada.
"We are tremendously proud to be investing in a new fulfillment center in the Calgary area that will create jobs, boost the economy and deliver quicker service for our customers," said Horacio Barbeito, president and CEO, Walmart Canada. "This modern facility will provide our associates with the latest logistics technology to improve our supply chain. That means more products available, more orders fulfilled and more Canadians offered two-day shipping. This is how we're transforming our operations to meet the needs of Albertans and all Canadians."
The new Alberta fulfillment facility, to be located at 10 Lowes Road, will be powered by logistics technology to achieve productivity with less physical effort. For the first time at Walmart Canada, robotic technology from GreyOrange will be used at the fulfillment center. This platform will speed up order fulfillment by using an advanced operating system that will help associates store, pick and sort items by using smart and flexible storage abilities to manage a large and wide variety of inventory.
Slated to open in September 2022, the approximately 430,000-square-foot fulfillment center will serve as a delivery hub for millions of Walmart customer orders in Western Canada. It will becapable of shipping 20 million items annually and storing 500,000 items to fulfill direct-to-home and in-store pickup orders. It will also be designed to optimize packaging, minimize waste and reduce transportation costs.
"The retail business is evolving, and Walmart Canada is responding with investments in Alberta and across Canada to bolster our supply chain network," said John Bayliss, EVP, transformation officer, Walmart Canada. "Walmart Canada is on a transformation journey, and this investment ensures we can deliver for our customers in Western Canada, now and in the future."
News of the new sortable fulfillment center follows plans of a new Walmart Global Tech hub in Toronto. Walmart aims to create a large hub in the capital city of Ontario that will create hundreds of new jobs. Initially, 45 or so full-time workers will be hired in areas of software development, technical program management and product management.
"The cutting-edge technology we build for 230 million customers around the world is fueled by our greatest asset — our people," said Suresh Kumar, Walmart's EVP, chief technology officer and chief development officer. “Work from these new hubs will impact millions of lives and transform the future of retail."
Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart operates approximately 10,500 stores under 48 banners in 24 countries, and e-commerce websites, employing 2.2 million-plus associates worldwide. Walmart Canada operates a chain of more than 400 stores nationwide serving 1.5 million customers each day. Walmart Canada is No. 21 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, while Walmart U.S. is No. 1.