Laurent Duray, chief e-commerce officer
Walmart Canada has repurposed space inside its sprawling Scarborough West Supercentre in suburban Toronto to accommodate a new, 20,000-sq.-ft. state-of-the-art fulfilment centre.
The new centre will be able to handle 1,200 daily online grocery orders using automated technology from Dematic along with proprietary Walmart systems that will enable the retailer’s associates to pick online grocery orders six-times faster than they would on a regular sales floor.
“It’s one more piece of the big investment plan of $3.5 billion that we announced awhile back to modernize our supply chain, expand our store network, invest in our associates who are present here today, and really upgrade our e-commerce capabilities,” said Dries Dhooghe, the retailer’s senior vice-president of operations, at ribbon-cutting ceremony to unveil the new space on Wednesday.
“This project will be a game-changer in really providing delivery options for our customers in downtown Toronto,” he said.
In fact, Walmart says more than 70% of downtown Toronto customers could potentially have their online grocery delivery fulfilled through the Scarborough West Supercentre, allowing the retailer to reach new, underserved areas.
Laurent Duray, Walmart’s chief e-commerce officer, said the fulfilment centre is just the latest way Walmart is “unlocking” its store network to find new capabilities. “We’re really transforming to make our e-commerce experience better and to meet the ever-evolving customer needs and were doing this by focusing on three things: speed, service and accuracy.”
Walmart says other benefits of the tech-enabled fulfilment centre include tighter inventory control, resulting in fewer substitutions. The technology also leverages data to systemically manage the freshness of stored items and its delivery-led solution and processes enable faster loading to support on-time delivery to customers.