US-based retailer Walmart has selected Spartanburg County, South Carolina, as the location for a high-tech distribution centre (DC) for fresh and frozen groceries.
Covering an area of more than 720,000ft², the facility will be Walmart’s largest grocery distribution centre.
The DC will process perishable grocery produce such as eggs, dairy, flowers and frozen goods with the help of Walmart associates, automation technology, robotics and machine learning.
The facility will complement Walmart’s existing four DCs in South Carolina.
It is scheduled to open in 2024 and will create more than 400 full-time jobs in the region.
Walmart US automation and innovation senior vice-president David Guggina said: “Walmart’s high-tech grocery distribution centre will include game-changing innovations that are radically disrupting the supply chain, getting products onto shelves for our customers even faster, while saving time for our associates.
“We’re proud to be opening Walmart’s largest automated grocery distribution centre in Spartanburg County and look forward to bringing new science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) job opportunities to the region.”
Walmart US supply chain operation senior vice-president Tim Cooper said: “The new distribution centre will be critical to ensuring our stores are stocked with the freshest grocery items to provide convenience and quality at everyday low prices to customers and communities in the state of South Carolina.”
Walmart has so far invested $450m in the project, part of a larger investment by the company to increase the use of automation technology in its supply chain.
The retailer currently operates 122 retail stores with a total of 34,136 employees in the state.
Earlier this year, Walmart revealed plans to add automation to more than half of its regional DCs and install market fulfilment centres in select stores.
The company has also invested in drones and autonomous vehicles to support its last-mile delivery efforts.