Walmart has opened an in-store Market Fulfillment Center (MFC) at Store 100 in its home town of Bentonville, Ark. Like the retailer’s first MFC, which opened in 2019 in Salem, N.H., the new center uses the Alphabot automated storage and retrieval technology developed by Alert Innovation.
MFCs will significantly increase the number of orders a store can fulfill in a day, according to a Walmart blog post, providing faster fulfillment with less substitutions and freeing up associates to help in-store customers.
“This new order fulfillment system is truly game-changing,” said Ryan Simpson, Store Manager at Store 100 in a statement. “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.”
Working with the Alphabot system also will help the store’s associates gain technical and leadership skills. “I feel confident that the items our associates are looking for are going to be there when a customer wants them,” said Gilbert Giron, an MFC Digital Team Lead at Walmart in a statement. “That makes me feel good, because I know our team is providing our customers with great service.”
Walmart will deploy MFCs in additional stores in the future, part of its plan to bring automation to 65% of its stores by 2026.