Walmart Inc. (WMT) said Wednesday that it has partnered with robotics company Symbotic to automate 25 regional distribution centers across the country over the next several years. Upgrades include the addition of "high-speed mobile bots" and "high-speed palletizing robotics" that will get items on shelves more quickly and keep down out-of-stocks, among other benefits. Walmart began working with Symbotic in 2017 when the company optimized a distribution center in Brooksville, Fla. Retailers have taken tech-driven competition to the supply chain, upgrading distribution and fulfillment facilities in order to meet the demands of increased online shopping. Kroger Co. (KR) and Ocado Group opened their first hi-tech fulfillment center in April (link) that also puts bots at the center of the effort to make the facility more efficient. Walmart stock has fallen 2.7% for the year to date while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 14.4% for the period.
-Tonya Garcia; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
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