Bentonville, Ark. — Walmart opened its first high-tech Market Fulfillment Center in Arkansas at Store 100 located at 406 S. Walton Blvd. in Bentonville in May, underlining the retailer’s strategic move toward expanding the use of its stores as fulfillment centers to enhance the shopping experience for customers everywhere.
The market fulfillment center in Bentonville, Ark., is the first in the state. It’s the second nationwide, with the first being a proof of concept located at Store #2142 in Salem, N.H. Walmart plans to continue opening MFCs in select stores in the coming years.
The Market Fulfillment Center (MFC) is built within the store and is powered by a proprietary storage and retrieval system named Alphabot. Walmart believes fulfillment through digitization and connecting its store and supply chain assets end to end will transform fulfillment.
“This new order fulfillment system is truly game changing,” says Ryan Simpson, the store manager at Store 100. “Not only does it enhance the customer experience through quicker, more accurate online order fulfillment, it also provides us the runway to continue growing our business now and in the future.”
Market fulfillment centers will significantly increase the number of orders the store is able to fulfill in a day, promising faster fulfillment with lower substitutions. Walmart+ members have even more to look forward to with free unlimited delivery. It also improves the in-store shopping experience by freeing up associates to help customers shopping in-store.
Associates can expect more time to focus on what’s important, including serving customers and supporting each other. In addition, working with the Alphabot system presents new leadership jobs in stores, like the newly created MFC Lead, and opportunities to learn and teach new tech-forward skills.
“I love the MFC. The dedicated space allows us to concentrate on picking items for our online customers,” says Gilbert Giron, an MFC digital team lead at Walmart. “I feel confident that the items our associates are looking for are going to be there when a customer wants them. That makes me feel good, because I know our team is providing our customers with great service.”
“We’re innovating toward an even better shopping experience every day, and on every platform,” says Prathibha Rajashekar, senior vice president of innovation and automation at Walmart. “To help our customers and associates live better, we’re using technology to help them save time. That leads to improved experiences for everyone, no matter how they shop — and moves our entire business forward in the process.”
Walmart Inc. is a people-led, tech-powered omnichannel retailer with more than 10,500 stores in 20 countries. For more information, visit www.corporate.walmart.com.
SOURCE: Walmart Inc.