Walmart’s (WMT) aggressive and rapid adoption of e-commerce over the last decade has been an inspiration for the other American retailers, currently fighting the digital invasion of the marketplace. An important milestone in the company’s journey to the virtual world was the acquisition of New Jersey-based start-up Jet.com about two years ago.
Now, Walmart is gearing up to expand its fulfillment facilities to New York City, offering the group’s much-hyped same-day and next-day delivery services to local residents. The company is expected to hire hundreds of employees for the facility that is meant exclusively for e-commerce merchandise. Meanwhile, there are plans to broaden its operations in the future to include Walmart merchandise also.
Deliveries at the center, to be opened this fall in the Bronx, will be handled by a package movement service provider that was added to the Walmart fold recently. Walmart already caters to a large number of New Yorkers through its many stores in the city.
The new fulfillment center in New York will offer the group’s much-hyped same-day and next-day delivery services to local residents
The fulfillment centers run by Jet.com typically act as hubs for select merchandise ordered online, including groceries and certain electronic items of companies like Apple (AAPL), to be delivered to customers on a priority basis. It is learned that the retail giant is on track to broaden the time-bound delivery of grocery ordered online to about 800 stores in 2019 – a task that requires heavy investment.
The measures being adopted by Walmart as part of its online grocery push include conversion of non-profitable Sam’s Club stores into fulfillment centers and refurbishing of traditional stores by adding facilities for online and mobile delivery. It is claimed that the fulfillment centers use state-of-the-art routing algorithms and skilled workers to distribute packages, while also keeping customers informed about the status of the delivery.
Walmart’s underlying game plan is to counter the onslaught of Amazon (AMZN) in the retail space, which has triggered one of the fiercest business rivalries the corporate world has ever witnessed.
After retreating from their record highs in January, Walmart shares remained broadly flat throughout the year. The stock opened this week notably higher and maintained the trend in early trading Tuesday.