Walmart ensuring faster delivery, better availabily this holiday — here’s how

Marianne Wilson
Marianne Wilson profile picture
Walmart distribution center
Walmart is speeding up order fulfillment this holiday season.

Walmart is leveraging its enhanced supply chain capabilities to provide a better customer experience this holiday season. 

This will be the first holiday shopping season where in-store and online customers will begin to feel the benefits of Walmart’s next-generation supply chain capabilities, the company said in a post on its web site. Those capabilities will allow the retailer to deliver more convenience with same-day delivery options, more availability on next-day and two-day shipping and more availability and accuracy on products. 

“As we head into the holiday season, we feel confident that we’ll deliver on these propositions with speed thanks to stores being staffed and ready, as well as more independent contractors driving on the Spark Driver platform than ever before,” wrote David Guggina, executive VP of supply chain, Walmart U.S.; Jennifer McKeehan, senior VP of transportation and delivery, Walmart U.S.; and Parvez Musani, senior VP of end-to-end fulfillment in the post. “By maximizing the use of our stores and leveraging our last-mile network, we offer something no other retailer can – same-day delivery to more than 80% of the U.S. population.

Walmart noted it has expanded its reach to nearly 90% of the U.S. population with next- or two-day shipping, including marketplace items shipped by Walmart Fulfillment Services. Its efforts are enhanced by its three new next-generation fulfillment centers (Joliet, Ill.; McCordsville, Ind.; and Lancaster, Tex.), which are now running.

“Our new fulfillment centers provide customers with a deeper assortment of the season's most wanted items including clothing, toys, electronics and more,” wrote Guggina, McKeehan and Musani. “These facilities, along with enhancements across our transportation network, have resulted in us being able to drastically increase the number of orders we’re able to ship next day.”

Additionally, Walmart continues to rapidly expand the use of next-generation technology in its distribution centers. This year, over 15% of Walmart stores will receive merchandise from automated distribution centers, helping to get items off trucks and onto the sales floor faster and more efficiently.

In other developments, Walmart will have seven automated market fulfillment centers up and running by Thanksgiving. The centers, which are located within Walmart stores, stock thousands of the most sought-after items. 

“The inventory within these centers is distinct from the items available on the store salesfloor, set up specifically to fulfill pickup and delivery orders,” wrote Guggina, McKeehan and Musani. “This approach both ensures heightened accuracy and also minimizes the need for substitutions, offering our customers an even more precise and satisfying shopping experience."

Earlier this year, Walmart  began offering on-demand delivery slots for same-day delivery. Customers can choose a time that best suits their schedule, which will allow holiday shoppers to  select Express Delivery and receive items in as soon as 30 minutes. With new late night delivery, they can receive items until 10:30 p.m. across 4,000 stores. This is in addition to Walmart’s same-day delivery, Express Delivery and InHome Delivery options.