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05/23/2022

Walmart and Symbotic Expand AI-Technology Partnership

Symbotic's AI-powered supply chain technology will be implemented at Walmart's 42 regional distribution facilities to improve order and supplies fulfillment.
Zachary Russell
Associate Editor
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Symbotic AI technology

Walmart has expanded its partnership with Symbotic LLC to add artificial intelligence (AI) powered supply chain technology to the retailer’s 42 regional distribution centers. The expansion adds 22 facilities to the original agreement.

First covered by Store Brands’ sister publication Progressive Grocer, the end-to-end software-enabled high-density robotics platform supports the retailer’s goal of updating its huge supply chain network. The expansion will boost the ability of Walmart’s regional distribution centers to respond more quickly to store orders, increase inventory accuracy, and receive and ship more freight, likely benefiting the retailer’s private label operations. It also creates new tech-enabled jobs offering widely applicable skills in robotics and technology.

“The expanded partnership with Walmart substantiates how our technology is truly reinventing the traditional warehouse and distribution of consumer goods across the supply chain,” said Rick Cohen, chairman, president and chief product officer of Wilmington, Mass.-based Symbotic. “As a technology platform with deep roots in warehousing and distribution, our system addresses some of the biggest challenges of today’s complex supply chain, such as inventory agility, transportation cost and labor availability. Modernizing the warehouse allows consumers to get what they need faster and creates benefits for everyone, including workers, customers and their local communities.” 

Walmart has already begun implementing Symbotic’s technology in select regional distribution centers throughout its network. The retrofitting process of all 42 regional distribution centers is expected to be completed over the next eight-plus years.

Walmart operates more than 10,500 stores and numerous eCommerce websites under 46 banners in 24 countries, serving 230 million people each week.