Bentonville / AR. (wama) This week leaders from Walmart Inc., government officials and community members joined Walmart associates in Joliet (Illinois) to celebrate the grand opening of Walmart’s 1.1 million square-foot (102’193.344 square meters) Next Generation fulfillment center (FC).
Walmart FCs work to store millions of items, available on Walmart.com, that are then picked, packed and shipped directly to customers – now faster than ever. The new state-of-the-art facility will also fulfill Marketplace items shipped by Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS), Walmart’s end-to-end fulfillment service for third-party eCommerce sellers.
«As the first-of-its-kind for Walmart, our newly opened facility introduces an array of opportunities to our associates, including brand new tech-focused jobs. There’s never been a more exciting time to join Walmart Supply Chain,» said James Bright III, general manager, Fulfillment Center FC3040. «I look forward to seeing the positive impact this team of associates and the Joliet facility will have on not only the Northeast Illinois community and economy, but also for Walmart customers across the Midwest.»
First-of-its-Kind Automation for Walmart
The new Joliet fulfillment center will be the first of four next-gen FCs, announced earlier this year, that will feature a new patent-pending process powered by the combination of people, robotics and machine learning. This process will set a new precedent in fulfillment speed by streamlining a manual twelve-step process to just five steps. Once completed, the four new state-of-the-art FCs for Walmart could provide 75 percent of the U.S. population with next- or two-day shipping.
«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 Fulfillment Network Operations, Walmart U.S., «The addition of the Joliet next generation FC, paired with our 31 dedicated eCommerce 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.»
New Career Opportunities
The facility is still actively hiring with a goal to hire more than 1,000 local full-time associates by the end of the year. «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,» said State Rep. Larry Walsh Jr., «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.»
Continued Investment in Illinois Community
During the grand opening ceremony, Walmart celebrated its commitment to the northeastern community by presenting two USD 15,000 donations to local nonprofits, SOS Children’s Villages Illinois and the Spanish Community Center. Since 2015, Walmart and the Walmart foundation have averaged more than USD 1 billion in annual donations each year to a variety of local causes and organizations (Photo: Walmart).