Walmart has created a program that routes some Walmart.com orders to be fulfilled straight from its stores, both to reduce delivery times and pressure on the retailer’s fulfillment centers. The new approach will leverage Walmart’s 2,800 stores, which can reach two-thirds of the U.S., to speed up fulfillment during a hectic holiday season.
“The advantages are clear: customers are happy with fast service, and we’re utilizing our full set of assets, which is good for our business,” said Tom Ward, SVP, Customer Product at Walmart in a statement. “Plus, the program is eco-friendly, as there aren’t as many boxes going out or long-distance miles being driven.”
The store fulfillment program joins several other initiatives Walmart has implemented to improve its omnichannel capabilities and prepare for a spike in ecommerce sales, including:
- Hiring an additional 20,000 associates at fulfillment centers across the country to prepare for the rush;
- Splitting Black Friday across three promotions and making Black Friday purchases available for curbside pickup;
- Launching a new store design that emphasizes convenient omnichannel shopping journeys; and
- Integrating its online and in-store product teams to improve pricing consistency across both channels.