Walmart To Use Warehouses Filled With Robots To Battle Amazon
Walmart says they're going to be building mini-warehouses around the nation, that will be filled with robots, as they wage an ongoing battle with Amazon in the race for online sales.
According to the Boston Herald, it was more than a year ago that Walmart opened a test warehouse in Salem, New Hampshire. Clearly, it went well. Even though Walmart won't comment on exactly how many of these robot-filled warehouses they'll be building, they do say they'll build dozens of them. According to WRAL TechWire, each will be 20,000 to 30,000 square feet. The Boston Herald says one is already under construction in the city where Walmart was born, Bentonville, Arkansas. There are also at least two already being built in Texas, in Plano and Lewisville, and one in American Fork, Utah.
So what's the goal? Walmart is hoping that robots will be able to accelerate the speed of customer pickups, at the curb. How? By pulling items and taking them to human workers who will then get them ready for the customer. Fresh vegetables, meats, and such will still be hand-picked by humans, who will also have to carry anything too large for robots.
The robots won't be working alongside customers, though. Instead, they'll be busy in the warehouses that will be built next to existing stores, or in special areas of the stores themselves. Some locations will have windows allowing customers to watch the robots in action.
Amazon already uses robots successfully, and Walmart is hoping to beat them at their own game.