Walmart Is Opening Dozens of Local Fulfillment Centers Staffed by Robots

These small, automated warehouses integrated into Walmart stores make order picking much faster.
Walmart Is Opening Dozens of Local Fulfillment Centers Staffed by Robots
Image credit: Walmart via PC Mag

Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox

Stay informed and join our daily newsletter now!
Senior Editor
2 min read
This story originally appeared on PCMag

Walmart is set to expand the number of local fulfillment centers (LFC) it has in operation across the US in response to demand for pickup and delivery orders.

An LFC is described as a "compact, modular warehouse built within, or added to, a store." Unlike the main stores, these centers are staffed by robots who are tasked with bringing items to picking workstations, where an associate can add them to an order much more quickly than if they had gone around locating the items themselves.

The items stored within an LFC range from fresh and frozen produce to thousands of frequently purchased goods across all categories. And although the robots pick most items, Walmart says personal shoppers handpick "fresh items like produce, meat, and seafood" from the sales floor.

Image credit: Walmart

The first LFC opened in Salem, New Hampshire, back in late 2019, and Walmart found it cut the whole process of order picking down to a few minutes, allowing for pickup or delivery within an hour. The new locations adding an LFC will either install them inside the existing store or add them on to the side. Walmart is also planning to open automated pickup points at some stores for "drive up, scan a code, grab" customer collections.

We don't know which of Walmart's nearly 5,000 stores are getting an LFC yet, but "dozens" are planned. If they turn out to be as successful as the Salem LFC, I'm sure that could quickly turn into hundreds.

More from Entrepreneur
Our Franchise Advisors will guide you through the entire franchising process, for FREE!
  1. Book a one-on-one session with a Franchise Advisor
  2. Take a survey about your needs & goals
  3. Find your ideal franchise
  4. Learn about that franchise
  5. Meet the franchisor
  6. Receive the best business resources
Make sure you’re covered if an employee gets injured at work by
  • Providing us with basic information about your business
  • Verifying details about your business with one of our specialists
  • Speaking with an agent who is specifically suited to insure your business
Discover a better way to hire freelancers. From business to marketing, sales, finance, design, technology, and more, we have the freelancers you need to tackle your most important work and projects, on-demand.

Latest on Entrepreneur