Walmart on Oct. 1 announced two new online fulfillment centers , including one in Fort Worth and one in Pennsylvania that will be its largest ever. The 800,000 square foot facility in at 5300 Westport Parkway in Fort Worth will have 275 full-time workers and has started shipping out orders last week. The online fulfillment centers will ship hundreds of thousands of items ranging from electronics, to toys, apparel, fitness equipment, sporting goods and various other items. Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart expects global sales from its fulfillment centers to pass $10 billion this fiscal year. The Fort Worth facility will be operated by Brentwood, Tenn.-based OHL, a global supply chain management solutions company. The Bethlehem, Pa. center will be fully operated by Walmart.
“With our dedicated online facilities and 4,100 stores within five miles of two-thirds of the U.S. population, we gain a significant advantage by being positioned in the most important location — close to our customers,” said Joel Anderson, president and CEO of Walmart’s website, in a news release. Walmart’s announcement also included a statement from Texas Gov. Rick Perry: “The decision to locate this new center and help create nearly 300 new jobs in the Metroplex is good business for Walmart, good business for Texas, and it serves as further proof our state’s economy is booming and will continue to grow.”
The Bethlehem operation will be more than 1 million square feet and will employ more than 350 full-time associates. It is scheduled to open in the first quarter of next year. Walmart’s Fort Worth site is located in the AllianceTexas development. According to a city of Fort Worth estimate, the center is expected to have an investment of at least $30 million in new taxable personable property by Jan. 1, 2014. The Fort Worth City Council approved a deal that would give Walmart 10 annual grant payments equal to 75 percent of incremental taxable value of the real and business personal property if requirements on spending with local businesses are met. Online retailer Amazon.com has also invested in fulfillment centers in the area. Amazon has a center in Haslet and Coppell. Amazon has just over 2 million square feet of distribution space in the area. Amazon also opend a 1.2 million-square-foot center in Schertz, near San Antonio.