To drive new-store construction and innovations, Walmart is planning on investing an estimated $200 million in its Florida business. The funds will support store openings and renovations as well as retail innovations, the company said in an announcement.
Elise Vasquez-Warner, a vice president and regional general manager for Walmart in Florida, said, “Customers have told us they want the convenience of shopping how, when and where they want. And, here in Florida, we’ll achieve that by building off the momentum we had last year, accelerating the rollout of customer-centered innovations, creating more than 1,000 jobs this year alone and maintaining a sharp focus on improving our store experience.”
Though Walmart currently offers grocery pickup at more than 100 of its Florida locations, the retailer plans to introduce around 80 new Grocery Pickup locations in the area. And, though the retailer’s Pickup Tower is available at more than 15 Florida Walmart stores, the company plans to expand that service as well. The retailer is also looking to extend the rollout of its Mobile Express Scan & Go service, which is currently available at 49 Sam’s Club stores and 10 Walmart stores in Florida.
The news comes after Walmart opened a massive eCommerce fulfillment center in Florida in 2017, creating 1,500 jobs and enabling faster shipping to customers or stores for free pickup.
Chain Store Age had reported in July that the state-of-the-art facility, located in Davenport, is 2.2 million square feet — equivalent to about 20 football fields. It features 33 miles of shelving and dock doors that can withstand wind speeds of up to 120 mph, and houses millions of items dedicated to fulfilling online orders.
The facility was the sixth addition to the next-generation fulfillment network that Walmart is building to support its eCommerce business and was part of a $450-million investment the retailer was making in Florida between 2017 and 2018.