There's no shortage of enthusiasm for Walmart at its new fulfillment center in Davenport. A team member led employees in a chant to celebrate the new facility Tuesday.
Employees at the new facility will deliver products to most Floridians who order from Walmart.com, getting them to customers faster.
“If you want to be a growing retailer, you've got to be good at eCommerce, and so we're just focusing on taking care of our customers the best we can,” Toby Gray, general manager of the fulfillment center, said.
You won't hear anyone around there saying the “A” word, Amazon, but there's no doubt the online retailer has given Walmart a run for its money. Earlier this year, Walmart introduced free two day shipping for millions of products. The company reports eCommerce sales have grown 63 percent.
“Our focus as a company is to be able to be where our customers are, so we can get the product to them as fast as possible,” Gray explained.
According to Walmart, the facility has already created more than 550 jobs, and a thousand more are on the way.
They’re also working on a machine that builds boxes based on the size of the product and packages them automatically. That, they say, is more efficient and saves cardboard.
While technology like that could threaten the very jobs they're creating, Governor Rick Scott attended the ceremony to thank the company.
“They need workers, and they need smart people, they need people who are willing to work hard, and you can find it in Florida,” he said.