‘Pop-Up’ eDCs Help Meet the Demand for Holiday eCommerce Orders

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Nov. 12, 2020
By Greg Smith, EVP, Supply Chain, Walmart U.S.

The holidays are always a special time, and this year they are likely to take on even more meaning when it comes to connecting with family and friends. This may be the first time in a long time that you’ll be able to see your loved ones – or this may be the first time in a long time you won’t be able to spend time with family and friends. Whatever your plans this year, we want to make sure we’re doing our part to help make the season special.

As we began our planning, we knew we needed to get creative to meet our customers’ expectations and continue to help them ring in the holidays in a safe way. Walmart already has an extensive supply chain network of distribution centers servicing our stores. By leveraging new and existing technology, and using some of our current real estate differently, we are increasing our eCommerce fulfillment capabilities as we prepare for the holidays.

What we’re doing

We are taking space in 42 of our current Regional Distribution Centers (RDCs) and creating what we call “pop-up eCommerce Distribution Centers” (eDCs) to meet the growing demand of eCommerce orders. Traditionally, RDCs ship pallets of goods to our stores, which is very different than sending packages directly to customer homes. Working closely with our Technology team, who developed new and enhanced some of our existing supply chain systems, we’ve been able to increase our fulfillment throughput. This means facilities that have traditionally only supplied products to stores are now equipped to also fulfill online orders, just in time for the holidays.

Why it matters

Standing up the eDCs enables us to move more product to customers quickly, using the expertise of our supply chain and technology associates — without the delay of building new facilities. The flexibility to pop-up an eDC anytime our supply chain network experiences peak demand allows us to deliver for our customers when they need us the most all the while consistently following the health and safety measures we have had in place for months.

Whether our customers are shopping in stores or online for pickup or delivery, we are committed to serving our customers safely and delivering a great holiday season.