US-based retail giant Walmart has revealed plans to automate approximately 65% of its stores’ services by the end of fiscal year 2026.
The retailer outlined the growth strategy at its two-day 2023 Investment Community meeting.
Walmart operates more than 10,500 stores across the globe and has been using them as e-commerce fulfilment facilities and delivery stations for online orders.
In addition to retail stores, the retailer expects to move approximately 55% of its fulfilment centre volume to automated facilities, improving unit cost averages by nearly 20%.
According to a press statement released by the company, the automated supply chain will improve the experience of customers and associates while also increasing productivity.
The transition is expected to increase throughput per person. The retailer said It could even result in increasing the number of associates.
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Walmart president and chief executive officer Doug McMillon said: “We are a people-led, tech-powered omnichannel retailer. As it relates to being people-led, it’s about purpose, values, culture, opportunity and belonging.
“We serve our associates by creating opportunities. Opportunities that turn jobs into careers. We help bring dignity to work by enabling them to see how they’re serving others as part of a team and helping them achieve their potential. And as we serve them, they serve our customers and members well…they make the difference.”
Walmart maintained its sales outlook for the fiscal year 2024, which it expects to grow by 2.5% to 3% on a constant currency basis.
The retailer also expects its earnings to grow by $5.90 to $6.05 per share over the fiscal.
The announcement comes closely after Walmart announced plans to lay off more than 2,000 employees across five e-commerce fulfilment centres in the US.