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Walmart adding four fulfilment centres, more than 4,000 jobs

AP – Walmart is adding four new fulfilment centres to its existing capacity, a move that will bring more than 4,000 jobs and make next- or two-day shipping available to more Americans.

The announcement comes at a time when American consumers are relying on packages being shipped to their homes more than ever before.

While online ordering has continued to increase over the years, the pandemic saw a huge surge in such orders as Americans stayed home during lockdowns and had essential items and other goods delivered to their doors. While coronavirus restrictions have eased, many consumers’ online ordering habits remain.

Aside from a growth in online orders, Walmart and other retailers are trying to make sure that their shipping speed keeps pace with rival Amazon, which offers same-day, one-day and two-day delivery options for those who pay for its Prime membership.

Walmart said on Friday that its four next generation fulfilment centres will be built over the next three years. The centres, which feature robotics and machine learning, double the capacity and number of orders allowed to be fulfilled in a day.

The four fulfilment centres will be able to provide 75 per cent of the United States (US) population with next- or two-day shipping on millions of items, including Marketplace items shipped by Walmart fulfilment services.

A Walmart sign displayed on the facade of a store in Hialeah Gardens, Florida. PHOTO: AP

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