By shipping from new distribution centers and its 4,200 U.S. stores, Wal-Mart says it has cut online delivery times by 15% and lowered delivery costs 22%. The world’s largest e-retailer also announced today plans for a new online fulfillment center in Indiana.
Abby Callard , Associate Editor
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced plans to build a 1.2-million-square-foot fulfillment facility in Indiana that will be dedicated to e-commerce. The facility will open in 2015 and employ more than 300 workers, the company says.
The facility will also allow the retailer to ship orders from Walmart.com to more than 160 million consumers within a two-day window.
“By combining large-scale online fulfillment centers with Wal-Mart’s distribution centers, world-class transportation network and 4,200 stores, we have the ability to get incredibly close to our customers to deliver orders faster and at a lower cost,” says Brent Beabout, senior vice president of supply chain and logistics for Wal-Mart Global eCommerce.
Those 4,200 stores are within five miles of two-thirds of the U.S. population, the company says. And it’s been using them to fill online orders. A Wal-Mart spokesperson says more than 20% of online orders are now shipped from a store—the majority of those arriving within two days. The company has sped up delivery times by 15% and lowered delivery costs by 22% over the past two years, with store fulfillment and dedicated e-commerce fulfillment centers cited as part of the reason.
@WalmartLabs, Wal-Mart’s e-commerce innovation arm, has been working to optimize the fulfillment and delivery process, the spokesperson says, including developing algorithms to determine the best location for shipping each order. @WalmartLabs announced in May it would double its staff this year.
Wal-Mart does not disclose the number or the location of fulfillment centers in its network, but the retailer announced the opening of two e-commerce fulfillment centers last year in Texas and Pennsylvania.
Walmart.com is No. 2 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.