The world’s largest retailer is making a major investment in e-commerce in a bid to pinch more market share from Internet behemoth Amazon.
Walmart recently revealed that it’s spending $200 million to build two distribution centers in Davenport, Florida, dedicated to shipping online orders.
A statement released from Gov. Rick Scott confirmed that the facilities will create more than 625 jobs when they open next year. He added, “Because of our work to create a business-friendly environment, more businesses like Walmart are choosing Florida as the best place to grow and create new jobs.”
Each of the retailer’s new warehouses will be located in the Majestic I-4 Distribution Center. One will be just under 1 million square feet and used to house smaller products, such as iPads, PS4 gaming systems, apparel and toys, while the other will be a 1.2 million-square-foot facility for oversized items, like large electronics, home products and exercise equipment.
“As we further enhance our fulfillment capabilities with more state-of-the-art e-commerce facilities, we’re selecting strategic locations that allow us to serve more customers quickly and at a lower cost,” said Brent Beabout, senior vice president of supply chain and logistics for Walmart Global E-Commerce, “Walmart’s next generation fulfillment network combines new facilities like the one in Davenport, Florida, with existing distribution centers, our world-class transportation fleet and 4,500 stores to efficiently scale fast delivery to customers all across the U.S.”
The retailer currently has eight distribution centers in Florida.
Amazon, meanwhile, has facilities in Lakeland and Ruskin, the latter of which is a freshly finished 1.1 million-square-foot warehouse that cost $200 million to build and employs more than 1,000 workers. The online giant recently announced it was adding 2,000 new positions to both locations.
While Walmart’s investments in e-commerce have come at a cost to revenue (the retailer’s second-quarter profit rose less than 1 percent to $120.2 billion, missing estimates), it’s a gamble that’s paying off: Online sales globally increased around 16 percent on a constant currency basis for the three months ended July 31.
According to a recent ranking compiled by JPMorgan Chase, Walmart is currently the third-largest Internet retailer in the U.S. after Amazon and Apple.