WALMART has launched an exciting new store addition that could offer online shoppers lightning fast shipping.
On Wednesday, the retailer opened the first of four planned “next-generation” fulfillment centers that will use brand new technologies to ship items quickly.
The new facility in Joliet, Illinois is a whopping 1 million square foot high-tech building that will store millions of Walmart products.
Walmart announced earlier this year that it plans to open additional centers in Indiana, Pennsylvania and Texas over the next three years.
The brand new facility implements a unique fulfillment process that combines human workers, robotics and machine learning to simplify a 12-step process into five simple steps. Winsight grocery store reported.
“Customers continue to expect faster delivery times and we are pleased to be able to meet those needs with these new high-tech facilities,” said Karisa Sprague, SVP of Fulfillment Network Operations.
“The addition of the Joliet Next Generation FC, coupled with our 31 dedicated e-commerce fulfillment centers, will enable Walmart to fulfill online orders for Walmart.com and Walmart+ customers with faster shipping speeds in the Midwest region.
“And with the holidays just around the corner, we’re excited to offer our customers a more seamless experience.”
Walmart is looking to fill over 1,000 positions to help run the facility, including plenty of engineering jobs.
With new technology and a state-of-the-art fulfillment process, Walmart plans to offer same-day or next-day delivery to nearly all shoppers when they shop online.
This comes as Walmart has also announced a major feature that will reduce customer wait time.
A new computer vision system will help detect low stocks on shelves and trigger a restock alert for staff, helping to make the process more efficient.
The AI system was introduced in Walmarts Canada in 70 stores, placing computer vision cameras in popular areas of the store to scan shelves at set intervals.
The pilot program was so successful that the system is now being used at all Canadian locations.
It is the first of its kind in the country and the system was developed by Focal Systems.
“We know it can be disappointing for customers when we don’t have the products they want on our shelves,” said Robin DeMers, Walmart’s director of store optimization.
“That’s why we initiated this pilot project using Focal Systems technology that takes the guesswork out of when a product is out of stock.”
Francois Chaubard, CEO of Focal Systems added: “Walmart is driving this industry in the adoption of AI and retail automation, challenging the status quo in terms of availability, customer experience and employee satisfaction.”