Walmart Is Looking More Like Its Biggest Rival Thanks To This Change
If there is one thing that Amazon shoppers love the most about the company's perks, it's the ultra-quick delivery service. Soon, though, it may no longer hold that favor as Walmart is looking to get an edge on its rival.
Amazon—even with fewer shoppers purchasing food through its Prime service—holds a slight lead on Walmart in online grocery orders. But Walmart announced on June 3 that it will be building four new fulfillment centers with the capability to pack and ship online orders more efficiently while growing its online presence. Thanks to high-tech automation at some of its new warehouses, America's biggest retailer hopes to be able to deliver items to customers within a day or two.
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The first fulfillment center will open in Joliet, Ill., which will serve customers in Illinois as well as Indiana and Wisconsin. More centers will open in McCordsville, Ind., Lancaster, Texas, and Greencastle, Pa., over the course of the next three years. With the four centers alone, next- or two-day deliveries could reach 75% of the U.S. population, according to Walmart.
Walmart partnered with the tech company Knapp to help design its fulfillment solutions. The centers will use an automated, high-density storage system that is intended to streamline services and take less strain off of fulfillment center employees, who walk can up to 15 to 20 miles on a 12-hour shift.
Amazon's Prime subscription service has long been the biggest program for ultra-fast deliveries. Recently, however, Walmart's online presence has been growing. In fact, after taking steps to expand its eCommerce footprint, Amazon has been predicted to swipe the title of largest U.S. retailer by 2024, according to a report in early June the Edge by Ascential 2022.
As of now, Walmart holds the leadership over grocery sales over its competitor, bringing in $264 billion in grocery sales during 2021 (compared to $27 billion for Amazon). With these new fulfillment centers and quicker delivery times, online grocery delivery is planned to be a major selling point for the retailer as well. Currently, it is turning dozens of stores into small, automated warehouses that will be able to quickly pick and pack online grocery orders.