Walmart opens $300M e-commerce fulfillment center in Polk County – Tampa Bay Business Journal

Please Sign In and use this article’s on page print button to print this article. A Walmart employee tapes up a box at an e-commerce fulfillment center. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has officially opened an e-commerce fulfillment center in Polk County that will eventually employ more than 1,000 people. The fulfillment center, which is near the intersection of Interstate 4 and U.S. Highway 27 in Davenport, includes two buildings and totals more than 2 million square feet. More than 550 people have already been hired, and Walmart said Tuesday that there are plans to hire “least 1,000 more” in the next year. A Walmart employee tapes up a box at an e-commerce fulfillment center. Walmart has been working to grow its e-commerce business, recently rolling out free two-day shipping on orders over $35. It also discounts online orders that customers are willing to pick up at a store. In the first fiscal quarter of this year, Walmart’s e-commerce business grew 63 percent — most of which was from its platform. Featured Jobs People on the Move The Polk facility, Walmart said in a news release, will mean faster shipping directly to customers or to stores for free pickup. The Interstate 4 corridor is within a day’s drive of the Southeast’s most densely populated urban centers, putting Walmart in prime position to be more competitive with, which set the e-commerce standard for free, two-day shipping. “We believe the company is now starting to drive some of the technology within e-commerce compared with reacting to everything Amazon does, as Walmart has in the past,” Brian Yarbrough, an analyst with St. Louis-based Edward Jones, wrote in a June research note. Walmart’s total investment in the facility is more than $300 million, according to figures the company released in May. In 2015, Polk County officials approved a 10-year tax abatement incentive deal for the project. “Walmart could have chosen to open this new fulfillment center in any location,” Gov. Rick Scott said in a statement. “Yet they know that Florida is the best place for them to grow their business and create new jobs.” It has been in the works for years. In late 2014, the Tampa Bay Business Journal was first to report that Walmart was scouting the I-4 corridor for property to build an e-commerce fulfillment center. By early 2015, Walmart’s search was down to two sites: the Central Florida Intermodal Logistics Center in Winter Haven and the site in Davenport where the facility now stands. “This campus is just the latest example of Walmart’s commitment to offering customers fast shipping on items they need every day,” said Nate Faust, senior vice president, Walmart U.S. e-commerce supply chain, said in a statement. “We’re excited not only about the economic impact our facility has had, and will continue to have, in the community, but also how it will help us empower our customers to shop when and how they want.” Ashley Gurbal Kritzer is senior reporter for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. Featured Jobs

About John Fagan

John is a Jacksonville native who grew up on the First Coast. He graduated from Bishop Kenny High School in 1975 and went to college at Florida State University where he completed a 4-year program in 3 years. John graduated from the Florida State University College of Business in 1978 and went straight into Florida State University College of Law. While in law school, John earned a position on the prestigious Law Review Board serving as its Business Editor. As a law student, John studied in the Oxford program. He also interned with the Florida Legislature working in the Florida House of Representatives Criminal Justice Committee. John was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1981. John began his legal career as a law school intern in the State Attorney's Office in Jacksonville in 1981. After his internship, legendary State Attorney Ed Austin hired John as a full-time Assistant State Attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit (Clay, Duval, and Nassau Counties). As a prosecutor, John tried jury and non-jury trial on charges ranging from DUI to Murder. In 1983, John moved from the State Attorney's Office to begin his career in private practice. He has practiced law for 30 years on the First Coast. For the last 20 years, John and his family have made Clay County their home. John limits his practice to personal injury and disability cases. While there are many fine attorneys in Clay County, John is one of only a few Clay County attorneys who limit their practice to personal injury and disability cases. John takes pride in helping clients resolve injury claims in ways that avoid the stress, uncertainty, and the expense of unnecessary litigation. Professional Activities John is the past President of the Clay County Bar Association and has served on the Board of the Clay County Bar Association from 2009-2013. He is an active member of the Florida Bar, and the Federal Bar of the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida. He is also a member of the American Association of Justice, the Florida Association of Justice, the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives, and the National Organization of Veterans' Advocates. Service to the Community John is involved in the Clay County Community serving as a member and Director of the Rotary Club of Orange Park, of the Clay County Bar Association, and the Putnam County Bar Association.
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