POLK COUNTY, Fla. – July 18, 2017 – Today, Florida Governor Rick Scott, Walmart officials and community leaders attended the grand opening of Walmart’s new e-commerce fulfillment center in Davenport, Fla., a massive, state-of-the-art facility that is estimated to bring more than 1,500 jobs to Polk County. The new facility 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.
“This campus is just the latest example of Walmart’s commitment to offering customers fast shipping on items they need every day,” said Nate Faust, senior vice president, Walmart U.S. eCommerce Supply Chain. “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.”
The 50-acre campus, located near the intersection of I-4 and Highway 27 in Polk County, features two buildings spanning a total of more than 2.2 million sq. ft. The campus employs more than 550 recently hired associates and there are plans to hire at least 1,000 more associates 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.
Governor 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,” said Melony Bell, Polk County Commission Chair. “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.”
The opening comes at a time of growth and innovation in e-commerce for Walmart. In the first quarter of this year, Walmart saw 63 percent growth in U.S. e-commerce sales, the majority coming from organic growth in Walmart.com. Since just the beginning of the year, Walmart.com 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.”
Supporting the Local Community
As part of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation’s commitment to supporting local communities across the state, several non-profits received grants on behalf of the Fulfilment Center team during today’s ceremony. The financial support adds to the total of more than $940,000 in grants Walmart and the Walmart Foundation has awarded to non-profits so far this year across Florida.
Nonprofit recipients recognized at today’s event included:
- Give Kids the World, $2,500
- CareerSource Polk, $3,500
- Ridge Community High School JROTC, $2,500
By the Numbers
The new 50-acre Walmart eCommerce Fulfillment Center Campus is the sixth in the Walmart network and the first in Florida. Unique facts and features include:
2.2 million sq. ft. of space:
· The new building size is equivalent to roughly 20 football fields
Pick Module (a multi-level product storage shelving system)
· 33 miles of shelving
· Doors can withstand wind speeds of up to 120 miles per hour.
2017-2018 Florida Investments
The positive business climate in Florida has enabled Walmart to create thousands of local jobs, invest millions in infrastructure and test innovative ways to serve its customers. In an effort to continue its growth and investment in the Sunshine State, Walmart recently announced plans for the following investments across Florida this fiscal year (Feb. 1, 2017 through Jan. 31, 2018):
- Open nine new stores across the state, creating more than 800 jobs statewide in stores alone.
- Execute a multi-million-dollar capital investment plan by remodeling more than 40 locations across the state.
- Celebrate the groundbreaking later this year for a new distribution center for perishable goods in the City of Cocoa.
About Walmart in Florida
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online and through their mobile devices. In Florida, we serve customers at 375 retail units and online through Walmart Grocery Pickup, Walmart.com and Jet.com. We are proud to employ more than 107,000 associates in Florida. In Florida during FY2017, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation helped local communities with more than $82 million in cash and in-kind contributions to Florida nonprofits, and Walmart donated nearly 45 million pounds of food to local Florida food banks – equivalent to more than 37.5 million meals. Learn more at the Walmart Today blog, and on our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram channels. Walmart opened its first store in Florida in 1982.