Walmart Inc. has plans to expand its Baytown, Texas, supply chain campus with a new 1 million-plus-square-foot distribution center to support the retailer’s growing supply chain network. The new facility, located at 4633 Borusan Road, is the retailer’s fourth in Baytown and is set to open in the fall of 2022, bringing the total square footage of the campus to more than 5 million.
The expansion will help accommodate the numerous Americans shopping Walmart's physical and digital stores, as evidenced by its latest earnings report. For the fourth quarter ended Jan. 28, U.S. same-store sales (excluding fuel) at Walmart were up 5.6%. The retailer said that comps reflected strong in-store traffic, aided by robust consumer spending and a strong holiday. Comp sales were up 14.2% on a two-year stack basis, with January the strongest month of the quarter. Traffic was up 3.1% during the quarter, and average ticket was up 2.4%. Food categories increased by a high-teens percentage on a two-year stack.
With a fiscal year 2022 revenue of $573 billion, Walmart has other fulfillment centers planned this year, including a 1 million-square-foot facility in Olive Branch, Miss., and a 1.8 million-square-foot facility in Shippensburg, Pa. Both fulfillment centers are scheduled to open in the spring.
Additionally, Walmart is stepping up its automated store distribution. Since the retailer increased the number of digital orders coming from its stores by 170% in the past year, it’s been scaling its automated market fulfillment centers. Market fulfillment centers are compact modular warehouses built inside or added to stores, which, can store thousands of products, including fresh and frozen items.
Walmart began piloting its first market fulfillment center in Salem, N.H., in 2019 and recently revealed that it’s planning dozens of other locations, with many more to come. In some stores, it will also add automated pickup points.
Meanwhile, the retailer is boasting that the Baytown expansion will create an additional 300 full-time jobs due to growth across multiple shifts.
“Walmart is excited to expand our Baytown campus and another step in Walmart’s continued investment in the state,” said Mike Gray, SVP supply chain operations, Walmart. “The Baytown campus and our other regional facilities continue to bring exciting new career opportunities within Walmart’s modern supply chain to hundreds of residents of the Houston area — all while helping us provide our local customers their everyday necessities with more variety and efficiency than ever before.”
Walmart operates 19 distribution centers, 593 retail stores and employs more than 185,000 associates in the state of Texas. The Baytown campus isn’t the only location in the state where the retailer is expanding its supply chain network: Walmart is also building two automated fulfillment and distribution centers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Both are scheduled to open next year.
Available positions at the Baytown campus include specialized roles and leadership positions. Candidates can go to careers.walmart.com to fill out online applications. Full-time positions qualify for Walmart’s total rewards and benefits plans, including medical, vision and dental insurance; 401(k) matching; paid time off; an associate stock purchase plan; and access to a free college degree 100% paid for by Walmart.
Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart operates approximately 10,500 stores under 46 banners in 24 countries, and e-commerce websites, employing 2.3 million-plus associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.