Following a two-year pilot, Walmart says a number of stores will also serve as local fulfillment centers to speed up pickup and delivery orders for customers.
In a blog post, Tom Ward, senior vice president of customer product at Walmart U.S. said the company has teamed up with Alert Innovation, Fabric, and Dematic to build the LFCs.
The company will use robots and AI to fulfill online orders for pickup and delivery to make it more convenient for customers. Walmart workers would then assemble the products to make them available for delivery or pickup.
"Instead of an associate walking the store to fulfill an order from our shelves, automated bots retrieve the items from within the fulfillment center," Ward said. "The items are then brought to a picking workstation, where the order can be assembled with speed."
Ward stated that a personal shopper would still pick fresh items like produce, meat and seafood, and large general merchandise from the sales floor.
Ward added that the company will implement automated pickup points, which would allow a customer to drive up, scan a code, grab their order and go.
"It’s no secret our customers love the speed and convenience of pickup and delivery," Ward said. "These local fulfillment centers help unlock our ability to expand even faster to meet their needs today, while also setting a new foundation to serve them in the future. We’re excited about this new chapter for our business and what it means for our customers."