Walmart Canada Unveils State-of-the-Art Fulfillment Centre in Alberta, Expanding Two-Day Shipping to 97% of Canadian Homes [CEO Interview]

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Walmart Canada has opened its first high-tech fulfillment centre in Western Canada in Rocky View County, Alberta, just outside of Calgary.

It’s a more than $100-million investment in the 430,000-square-foot facility which will serve as a delivery hub for millions of orders for Walmart’s Western Canada customers, bringing the giant retailer’s two-day shipping to 97 per cent of Canadian households.

Gonzalo Gebara

“We’re on a transformational journey to modernize our supply chain and today’s grand opening marks a major milestone for Walmart Canada,” said Gonzalo Gebara, President and CEO, Walmart Canada. 

“Walmart Canada is an omnichannel retailer, people-led and tech-powered. We’re providing our supply chain associates with modern logistics technology to fulfill orders at exceptional speed. Every day, we’re enhancing our supply chain network. It’s a very exciting time at Walmart Canada.”

Walmart Canada Fulfillment Centre in Rocky View County (Image: Mario Toneguzzi)

Highlights of the new facility, which is the third for the company in the Balzac area of Rocky View County, include:

  • Storage for thousands of items available on Walmart.ca;
  • Capability of shipping 20 million items annually directly to customers and handling up to 500,000 unique items to fulfill direct to home and ship-to-store pickup orders;
  • Fulfilling orders for Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS), Walmart’s end-to-end fulfillment service for the retailer’s third-party e-commerce sellers, including larger, non-conveyable items, like large patio items, for the first time. Customers ordering items from Marketplace sellers who leverage the WFS service will benefit from faster shipping speeds and improved product availability;
  • Powered by cutting-edge logistics technology to achieve more productivity with less physical effort and deliver orders faster;
  • Goods-to-person robotics help associates store, pick and sort items with a high degree of accuracy, speeding up the fulfillment process. Three types of robotic technology assist associates with tasks within the facility;
  • Smart and flexible storage manages a large and wide variety of inventory, improving availability for customers and allowing the facility to adapt to customers’ needs;
  • Technology-enhanced inbound receiving allows associates to introduce items to the mobile storage units more quickly, with items available for purchase on Walmart.ca in as fast as 15 minutes once entered into the system;
  • Auto-boxing technology helps to optimize packaging and minimize waste by building a custom-sized box for each order, resulting in more efficiently-packed trailers.
Patricio Dallan

“Time is the modern currency and we are more committed than ever to provide faster delivery,” said Patricio Dallan, Senior Vice President, Omni Supply Chain, Walmart Canada. “This new fulfillment centre is a game-changer. We’re working hard every day, testing, learning and scaling technology in our omni supply chain operations to exceed customer expectations and provide a more seamless shopping experience.”

The Rocky View County Fulfillment Centre is part of Walmart Canada’s larger $3.5 billion investment to revolutionize its best-in-class supply chain network and increase its e-commerce capabilities.

Walmart Canada Fulfillment Centre in Rocky View County, Alberta (Image: Mario Toneguzzi)

Walmart Canada has been present in Alberta since 1994 and today has 59 stores, four distribution centres and a new fulfillment centre employing more than 16,000 associates.

Walmart Canada is investing more than $100 million in store upgrades in the province over a two-year period to improve the customer shopping experience. 

Walmart Canada works with close to 2,000 Canadian suppliers, big and small. Walmart Canada bought approximately $220 million worth of products from more than 40 suppliers located in Alberta in a recent 12-month period, a number the retailer hopes to continue to grow. 

Walmart Canada Fulfillment Centre in Rocky View County, Alberta (Image: Mario Toneguzzi)

Gebara said the new fulfillment centre represents a significant investment in Alberta and the creation of more than 100 jobs.

“That’s a testament of the commitment that we have not only with the province but also with the country and how much we want to continue to grow and make a difference for Canadian customers, communities and for all our associates,” he said.

“With our skilled talent and innovative technology that we’re bringing to this facility we’re going to be able to ship quite a few amount of inventory across this part of the country. This facility will allow us to operate and flow when we are at our maturity 20 million units a year and that makes a big difference for our customers because we will be able to continue to deliver our customer value proposition of everyday low prices. But now we will be able to offer it in the ways that our customers want to shop, however they want to shop, whenever they want to shop and wherever they want to shop, whether they want to do it in our stores or whether they want to do it online.”

Gebara said he’s also pleased that through this new facility the retailer will be able to provide fulfillment options for businesses who sell their items in the company’s Marketplace.

“So smaller businesses won’t need to build their own fulfillment networks to be able to get their items closer to their customers,” he said. “They can do it through this facility and through our network and we can leverage altogether the great development that we have here.”

Gonzalo Gebrara at Walmart Canada Fulfillment Centre in Rocky View County, Alberta (Image: Mario Toneguzzi)

Nationally, Walmart has more than 400 stores with 1.5 million daily customers.

“Alberta’s economy keeps moving forward thanks to investments like this one, from Walmart Canada. The opening of their new high-tech fulfillment centre means more jobs for Albertans, increased opportunities for Alberta retailers, and streamlined service for Western Canadian customers. Walmart Canada is already proving to be a good neighbour through their support for local community programs, and I look forward to continuing to work together,” said Danielle Smith, Premier of Alberta, in a statement.

Gebara said Alberta is a very, very important part of the country for the retailer.

“We’re very happy with the business that we have here and we want to continue to grow it and we have the right environment to grow it,” he said.

Additional Photos

Walmart Canada Fulfillment Centre in Rocky View County, Alberta
Walmart Canada Fulfillment Centre in Rocky View County, Alberta (Image: Mario Toneguzzi)
Walmart Canada Fulfillment Centre in Rocky View County (Image: Mario Toneguzzi)
Walmart Canada Fulfillment Centre in Rocky View County, Alberta (Image: Mario Toneguzzi)
Walmart Canada Fulfillment Centre in Rocky View County, Alberta (Image: Mario Toneguzzi)
Walmart Canada Fulfillment Centre in Rocky View County, Alberta (Image: Mario Toneguzzi)
Walmart Canada Fulfillment Centre in Rocky View County, Alberta (Image: Mario Toneguzzi)
Walmart Canada Fulfillment Centre in Rocky View County, Alberta (Image: Mario Toneguzzi)
Walmart Canada Fulfillment Centre in Rocky View County, Alberta (Image: Mario Toneguzzi)
Walmart Canada Fulfillment Centre in Rocky View County, Alberta (Image: Mario Toneguzzi)
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.

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