Retail, Proximity & IoT Marketing

Walmart Opens First Market Fulfillment Center in Arkansas

The addition provides even faster fulfillment for online pickup and delivery customers while creating new opportunities for associates.

Walmart opened its first high-tech Market Fulfillment Center in Arkansas at Store 100 located at 406 S Walton Blvd in Bentonville on Monday, 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 (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. And along with it, customer satisfaction and associate opportunity.

“This new order fulfillment system is truly game changing,” said 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.”

Customers can expect to see the benefits of the MFC almost immediately.

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.

In addition to improving the customer and member experience, associates will also notice benefits from the new MFC.

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,” said 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.”

At the foundation of the new MFC is Walmart’s strategic use of technology to transform its stores, making the shopping experience better for customers. It also opens door to newly created ladders of opportunity that make Walmart a place where good jobs can turn into great careers.

“We’re innovating toward an even better shopping experience every day, and on every platform,” said 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.”

At its core a local business, Walmart is supporting its community in more than one way.

The leadership team at Store 100 celebrated the opening of the MFC with a donation of $15,000 distributed among Bentonville High School, Bentonville West High School and Bentonville Schools Ignite Professional Studies Program. Their hope? Progress toward technological and educational development.

The market fulfillment center in Bentonville, Arkansas 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, New Hampshire. Walmart plans to continue opening MFCs in select stores in the coming years.

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