The FINANCIAL — On July 22, Walmart held a sneak preview event at its new fulfillment center in Bethlehem, Pa. The facility, one of two Walmart centers in the Lehigh Valley dedicated to filling online orders, is part of a next-generation network to support the company’s rapidly growing e-commerce business.
The new 1.2 million sq. ft. facility in the Majestic Bethlehem Center, which features state-of-the-art automation and warehousing systems, created nearly 400 full-time jobs in the Lehigh Valley. Roughly 200 additional jobs were created at the second Walmart fulfillment center in the Lehigh Valley Industrial Park VII. Walmart’s combined centers are expected to generate nearly 1,000 new jobs over the next few years, according to Walmart Stores.
“We are grateful to the Lehigh Valley for welcoming us with open arms, and we’re proud of the role we’ve played in strengthening this community with the jobs and community support we’re bringing to the area,” said Mike McGraw, general manager of the Bethlehem fulfillment center.
“This project will give workers new opportunities while helping to grow the economy throughout the entire Lehigh Valley,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “New business expansion like this shows why it is such an exciting time to live and work in the growing and vibrant Lehigh Valley community.”
Supporting the Lehigh Valley Community
“I welcome Walmart to the City of Bethlehem and Lehigh Valley Industrial Park VII,” said Bethlehem Mayor Robert Donchez. “I applaud Walmart for its commitment to creating sustainable jobs and strengthening this community.”
The grand-opening celebration featured donations to local organizations, including a $31,000 check to Second Harvest Food Bank of the Lehigh Valley as part of Walmart’s “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” campaign. Through this initiative, more than $400,000 will be distributed to food banks throughout Pennsylvania this summer.
As part of Walmart’s and the Walmart Foundation’s $2 billion commitment to fight hunger through 2015, Walmart stores in Pennsylvania donated approximately 12.9 million pounds of food, or the equivalent of 10.8 million meals, in fiscal year 2014.
Gov. Wolf and his family have been personally involved in the fight against hunger locally and across Pennsylvania. The governor has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Pennsylvania food banks, and he and his family routinely volunteer time to help out and serve food at local pantries.
New Centers Provide Faster Deliveries at Lower Cost
This new facility is part of a network — Walmart distribution centers, existing e-commerce facilities, 4,500 Walmart stores and a world-class transportation fleet — that ships packages faster and more efficiently, while offering customers more choices for how they want to receive their online orders.
“This Bethlehem facility is part of a dense, multi-faceted network that combines new buildings, existing fulfillment assets, and our portfolio of stores to create thousands of points of distribution,” said Neil Ashe, chief executive officer, Walmart Global eCommerce. “All of these elements working together enhance our ability to get more products to customers faster, at a lower cost, and provide more choices for shoppers.”