How Walmart is using AI to stay on top of holiday inventory

As major retailers enter into the holiday shopping season, Walmart are sharing how they are using AI to meet demand

The retail giant is demonstrating how they are sourcing, shipping and stocking their customers ‘whatever they want, whenever they want it – no matter how they shop.’

AI management 

The company has invested in an AI-powered inventory management system that positions products according to customer demand.  The AI can recognise a top-selling toy in a particular region, and automatically send more items to those stores. And if a toy is selling better in the Midwest compared to the East Coast, they can reposition inventory to that area of the country.

Walmart is also continuing to expand the use of next-generation technology in their distribution centres. This year, over 15% of stores will receive merchandise from automated distribution centres, helping to get items off trucks and onto the sales floor faster and more efficiently. These centres play a pivotal role in stocking stores while making it easier for associates to unload trucks and sorting products for hours. Instead, they can simply bring department-ready pallets directly to the sales floor, accelerating how quickly they can deliver products to stores and customers.

Next generation supply chain 

These advancements also mean they can expand their reach to nearly 90% of the U.S. population with next- or two-day shipping, including marketplace items shipped by Walmart Fulfillment Services. This holiday season aligns with three new next-generation fulfilment centres in Joliet, Illinois; McCordsville, Indiana; and Lancaster, Texas, are now running. At approximately 1.5 million square feet, the new fulfilment centres provide customers with a larger assortment of the season's most wanted items including clothing, toys and electronics. These facilities, along with enhancements across their transportation network, have resulted in Walmart being able to drastically increase the number of orders they are able to ship next day.


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