Walmart has opened its next-gen fulfillment center southwest of Chicago, bringing next- or two-day shipping to customers across Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.
Walmart has officially opened its first “next-gen” fulfillment center in Joliet, Ill., southwest of Chicago. One of four such centers that the retailer plans to construct over the next three years, this 1.1 million-square-foot site is set up for maximum efficiency, using advanced robotics and machine learning to cut down a manual 12-step process to a patent-pending five-step process.
According to Walmart, these four next-gen fulfillment centers, once operational, will be able to provide 75% of the U.S. population with next- or two-day shipping. The centers will also be used to fulfill Marketplace items shipped for third-party e-commerce sellers, as part of the Walmart Fulfillment Services arm of the business.
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Several company leaders, along with local government officials, were on hand for the Sept. 28 grand opening of the fulfillment center at 3501 S. Brandon Road in Joliet. During the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Walmart representatives presented two $15,000 donations to local nonprofit organizations.
“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 of fulfillment network operations for Walmart U.S. “The addition of the Joliet next generation FC, paired with our 31 dedicated e-commerce 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.”
State Representative Larry Walsh, Jr. lauded the opportunities that the latest fulfillment offers to the community and customers at large. “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,” he remarked. “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.”
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 The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.