Walmart has taken a stake in Symbotic, amounting to 11.1% of the company’s total common stock and 4.3% of its voting power, according to a securities filing. The disclosure closely follows Walmart announcing that it will bring Symbotic’s automation technology to all 42 of its regional distribution centers over the next eight years, an expansion of a previous partnership. In June, Walmart announced plans to build four new fulfillment centers. These will implement automation technology that provides customers and Walmart+ members with access to next or two-day shipping on millions of items. Locations include McCordsville, Indiana, and Greencastle, Pennsylvania. Walmart has partnered with Knapp to develop an automated, high-density storage system that streamlines a manual, 12-step process into five steps. The retailer said that this will result in double the storage capacity and double the number of customer orders it’s able to fulfill in a day.
“Our new next-generation fulfillment center is a first of its kind for Walmart that will transform the way we ship online orders to customers,” said David Guggina, Senior Vice President, Automation, and Innovation at Walmart. “Through our automated storage system and patent-pending five-step process, we’ll not only provide increased comfort for associates but also double the storage capacity and double the number of customer orders we’re able to fulfill in a day.” “We’re thrilled to be bringing this high-tech fulfillment center and more than 1,000 supply chain jobs to Greencastle and the south-central region of Pennsylvania,” commented Karisa Sprague, Senior Vice President, Supply Chain E-commerce Fulfilment at Walmart. “We continue to modernize our supply chain network and prepare for growth in our digital business, and this new facility will play an integral role in helping us serve even more customers and Walmart+ members with access to fast shipping on millions of items.”News Source: Retail Technology Innovation Hub