Walmart, the e-commerce major has opened a new fulfillment center at Davenport, Florida in the presence of Rick Scott, Governor. Around 1500 residents of Polk Count will gain employment in the new center, which will house millions of items dedicated to fulfilling online orders and will enable faster shipping directly to customers or to stores for free pickup. It is the latest addition to the next-generation fulfillment network Walmart is building to support its rapidly growing e-commerce business, according to a pharmacy times report.“This campus is just the latest example of Walmart’s commitment to offering customers fast shipping on items they need every day,” Nate Faust, senior vice president, Walmart US eCommerce Supply Chain told PT. “We’re excited not only about the economic impact our facility has had, and will continue to have, in the community, but also how it will help us empower our customers to shop when and how they want", Faust added.InfrastructureThe 50-acre campus, located near the intersection of I-4 and Highway 27 features two buildings spanning a total of more than 2.2 million square feet. The center has employed 550 persons recently and plans are afoot to hire at least 1,000 more human resources over the next year. These associates would join the more than 107,000 in the state currently working at Walmart’s stores, clubs and distribution centers, noted the report.
While speaking on the occasion, the Governor of Florida, Scott said: “I was proud to celebrate the grand opening of Walmart’s new e-commerce fulfillment center which is helping to create 1,500 jobs for Florida families. Walmart could have chosen to open this new fulfillment center in any location, yet they know that Florida is the best place for them to grow their business and create new jobs. By cutting taxes and creating the new $85 million Florida Job Growth Grant Fund, we will create even more opportunities for Florida families.”The new facility is part of a vast network — Walmart distribution centers existing e-commerce facilities, 4,500 Walmart stores, and a world-class transportation fleet — that ships packages fast and efficiently while offering customers more choices for how they want to receive their online orders.“We’re excited to welcome Walmart’s new state-of-the-art fulfillment center campus to Polk County,” Melony Bell, Polk County Commission Chair said and added: “Walmart has made a significant investment in our community through the more than 1,500 job opportunities created and its commitment to give back to so many deserving organizations. Walmart has long been a major employer in our community, and we’re grateful for its commitment to continued growth here.”Humongous growthThe opening comes at a time of growth and innovation in e-commerce for Walmart. In the first quarter of this year, Walmart saw 63% growth in U.S. e-commerce sales, the majority coming from organic growth in Walmart.com. Since just the beginning of the year, the firm has rolled out free two-day shipping with no membership fees, an extra discount for picking up orders in stores and the ability to easily reorder online or make store purchases within the Walmart app. Also, the recently acquired online retailer Jet.com continues to provide a strong avenue for reaching an urban, millennial customer.“I’m proud of the work we’re doing to keep pace with the wants and needs of our customers,” said Stephen “Toby” Gray, general manager of the Polk County fulfillment center campus and 23-year associate at Walmart. “Our team is the driving force behind this state-of-the-art facility, and our associates have worked hard to get us to where we are today. We’re also incredibly appreciative of the warm welcome and strong support we have received from the local community.”