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Walmart retools Dallas store into fulfillment center

Customers will place their orders, pick up merchandise, groceries at the fulfillment center

Walmart Inc. is converting a Dallas store into a facility where customers can make an order online and pickup merchandise at the fulfillment center. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) is converting one of its Dallas stores into a Market Fulfillment Center for online pickup orders as the retail giant seeks faster ways to serve customers.

It will be Walmart’s first Market Fulfillment Center in Texas and only the third in the U.S., Walmart spokesman Charles Crowson told FreightWaves. 

The aim of the new facility — in north Dallas at 13739 N. Central Expressway — is to allow more customers quicker access to general merchandise and fresh groceries. 

“It is going to be a market fulfillment center. That means customers can place their online orders, grocery pickup, product pickup, general merchandise, all those things,” Crowson said. “[Products for pickup can come]“ from any of these neighboring north Texas [Walmart] stores. Customers can come to that market fulfillment center, and the customer can just go right there and pick it up.”

The facility is scheduled to open in spring 2022. The location was selected because of its ready access to key highways as well as its population density, Crowson said. 

“One of the benefits to it is its proximity to those major thoroughfares there in north Dallas, along Highway 75, Interstate 635, Interstate 30, all right there at that juncture,” Crowson said.

The facility will be different from an e-commerce fulfillment center, where sellers send merchandise to a fulfillment center and an outsourced provider ships it to customers for them. 

Customers will be able to pick up online orders at the Walmart Market Fulfillment Center, but the store will not be open for in-store shopping.

“Customers will place their order online, it’s delivered to that spot. You go there, you pick it up, you go home,” Crowson said.

The company recently did a similar store conversion in Chicago. 

Crowson said Walmart first tested the concept near the company’s headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas. 

“We had a prototype of a market fulfillment center,” Crowson said. 

The Walmart Supercenter at 13739 N. Central Expressway will close March 30, laying off 217 employees. The employees will be able to transfer to any of three Walmart Supercenters that are within a 5-mile radius, Crowson said.

“Those associates are going to be given the opportunity to go back to the store [at 13739 N. Central Expressway], be retrained a bit differently and work there,” Crowson said. 

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Noi Mahoney

Noi Mahoney is a Texas-based journalist who covers cross-border trade, logistics and supply chains for FreightWaves. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in English in 1998. Mahoney has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working for newspapers in Maryland and Texas. Contact [email protected]