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10/01/2013

Walmart began shipping from new Fort Worth fulfillment facility last week

Walmart said today it has opened the new online fulfillment center at Alliance in north Fort Worth it announced in April.

The center, 5300 Westport Parkway, is one of two new centers that opened. Walmart said the centers are a part of a “next-generation” fulfillment network that will deliver orders to U.S. customers faster and at a lower cost.

“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.com, in a statement.  

The Fort Worth center shipped its first order last week. The facility is being operated by Ozburn-Hessey Logistics.

In April, the City Council approved a tax abatement with Walmart, which is leasing the 788,000-square-foot facility from Hillwood. As part of the agreement, Walmart must hire 400 full-time-equivalent jobs to the center by Dec. 31, 2017.

Today, Walmart said the facility will eventually hire 275 employees. Walmart spokesman Dan Toporek said it was not yet fully staffed.

The center will fill orders for Texas and parts of the Midwest, he said.

Walmart said it was investing up to $30 million in business personal property at the center. The retailer received a 75 percent abatement on city property taxes on the value of the investment for 10 years, or about $2 million.

 The other facility announced today is a 1 million-square-foot center in Bethlehem, Penn. with 350 employees.

Walmart said it will have more than five million products on Walmart.com this holiday season, double what it had last year.

_ Sandra Baker

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