We’ve been actively enhancing our supply chain, store and delivery capabilities, making significant investments in cutting-edge technology to get our customers whatever they want, whenever they want it – no matter how they shop.
Today, we’re excited to share this will be the first holiday shopping season where customers will begin feeling the benefits of our next generation supply chain, which, when combined with our dedicated associates, enable us to deliver more for our customers: more convenience with same-day delivery options, more availability on next-day and two-day shipping and more availability and accuracy on this season’s top food, toys and gifts.
More same-day delivery slots, with delivery services until 10:30 p.m.
Earlier this year we began offering On-Demand delivery slots for same-day delivery. Customers can choose a time that best suits their schedule, meaning this holiday, customers can select Express Delivery and receive items in as soon as 30 minutes as well as Late Night Delivery services until 10:30 p.m. across 4,000 stores. This is in addition to our same-day delivery, Express Delivery and InHome Delivery options, so customers and Walmart+ members can feel confident we’ll get them what they want, when and how they want it.
As we head into the holiday season, we feel confident that we’ll deliver on these propositions with speed thanks to stores being staffed and ready, as well as more independent contractors driving on the Spark Driver platform than ever before. By maximizing the use of our stores and leveraging our last-mile network, we offer something no other retailer can – same-day delivery to more than 80% of the U.S. population.
More items available for next- and two-day shipping
We’ve worked hard to expand our reach to nearly 90% of the U.S. population with next- or two-day shipping, including marketplace items shipped by Walmart Fulfillment Services. This holiday season marks a special milestone for us, as our three new next-generation fulfillment centers in Joliet, Illinois; McCordsville, Indiana; and Lancaster, Texas, are now running. At approximately 1.5 million square feet, our new fulfillment centers provide customers with a deeper assortment of the season's most wanted items including clothing, toys, electronics and more. These facilities, along with enhancements across our transportation network, have resulted in us being able to drastically increase the number of orders we’re able to ship next day.
More of all the items you need
Our customers can rest assured that they will easily find everything they need and more during the holiday season, as we have taken several measures throughout the year to ensure product availability and order accuracy.
To start, we’ve invested in an AI-powered inventory management system that positions products according to customer demand. It’s patent-pending, so we’re confident it has set us up for success heading into the season and will continue to do so as holiday shopping kicks into high gear. For example, our AI can recognize a top-selling toy in a particular region, and automatically send more items to those stores. And if a toy is selling better in the Midwest compared to the East Coast, we can reposition inventory to that area of the country.
Additionally, we continue to rapidly expand the use of next-generation technology in our distribution centers. This year, over 15% of stores will receive merchandise from automated distribution centers, helping to get items off trucks and onto the sales floor faster and more efficiently. These centers play a pivotal role in stocking our stores while making it easier for associates to unload trucks and sorting products for hours. Instead, they can simply bring department-ready pallets directly to the sales floor, accelerating how quickly we can deliver products to stores and customers.
We’re also excited to share we’ll have seven automated market fulfillment centers up and running by Thanksgiving. These market fulfillment centers, strategically located within our stores, stock thousands of the most sought-after items. The inventory within these centers is distinct from the items available on the store salesfloor, set up specifically to fulfill pickup and delivery orders. This approach both ensures heightened accuracy and also minimizes the need for substitutions, offering our customers an even more precise and satisfying shopping experience.
We know convenience and speed of delivery are top of mind for customers, and we’ve done a lot to prepare in advance of the holiday season. We’re ready to deliver the holiday magic to our customers with speed and precision, helping them spend less time worrying and more time focusing on what matters most.