Sam Walton once said, “You can't just keep doing what works one time, everything around you is changing. To succeed, stay out in front of change.” This statement is as relevant today as it was decades ago. To continue serving our customers and associates at the highest level, we must be willing to constantly evolve the company and our ways of working to meet their changing needs.
To that end, we’re announcing the conversion of one of our Atlanta fulfillment centers (FCs) into a dedicated facility supporting our growing Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS) business. This strategic move allows our third-party sellers to take even more advantage of our world-class supply chain capabilities for delivery to their customers. To maximize the effectiveness of the facility, we’re making updates to meet WFS operational requirements, as well as enhancing training, processes, equipment and the building’s infrastructure. Our goal is to work towards the building being fully converted by early this fall.
What makes this possible?
Our WFS business is growing, and we want to help new and existing Marketplace sellers grow their business, too. Many sellers who use WFS to fulfill their items are seeing on average 50% sales growth for those items. WFS is designed to help sellers grow their businesses with Walmart Marketplace by helping generate more profitable sales at scale. The service was imagined and built with our third-party sellers in mind, and we’re proud to offer our sellers transparent and simple pricing that’s one of the lowest available on the market.
Another key piece is the expansion of our next generation FC network over the next three years. Our first site went live recently in Joliet, Illinois. That facility uses a unique combination of people, robotics and machine learning to set an entirely new precedent for fulfillment, while continuing a positive work environment for associates. More impressively, these planned next generation FCs alone will have the capacity to provide 75% of the U.S. population with next- or two-day shipping on millions of items, which gives us the ability to convert the Atlanta facility to focus on fulfilling orders on Marketplace items.
Lastly, as our eCommerce business continues to expand along with customer demand, our stores play a vital role in providing fast and convenient delivery. We ship and deliver millions of items every week direct from our network of 4,700 stores throughout the country, and we’ll continue to lean on stores as a pivotal part of the last-mile mix as we serve online customers.
What this means for associates
Walmart is a great place to build a career, and as we expand our capabilities and evolve our business there will continue to be places for associates to grow and develop new skills. With the Atlanta WFS conversion, associates will be on the leading edge of technology and piloting a facility model that, when successful, will transform how we grow and manage our “best in class” customer service offerings across multiple platforms.
Additionally, our associates will continue to have access to enhanced training and educational opportunities, including Live Better U, where Walmart pays 100% cost of tuition and books for a college degree.
Partnering at the local level
When planning the launch of this WFS facility, finding the ideal location was among the critical first steps. Atlanta has been a pivotal hub in our fulfillment strategy for years, and we value the partnerships we have with that community. Our success would not be possible without the support of the local community, and our customers have benefited from those relationships as a result.
This is an exciting time for our company to evaluate what we do, be nimble in how we do it and adapt in the places where needed. This is one of those moments, and we look forward to what the future holds for the company and our customers.
If you’re interested in becoming a WFS seller please visit marketplace.walmart.com/walmart-fulfillment-services for more information or to sign up.