ORLANDO, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The world’s largest retailer today announced its statewide growth and investment plans for the state of Florida, which will result in an economic impact well over $450 million. The plan will expand the company’s more than 375 facility footprint in Florida and build on the continued positive momentum in U.S. sales, customer traffic and customer feedback noted in the company’s most recent earnings report.
2017-2018 Florida Investments
The positive business climate in Florida has enabled Walmart to create thousands of local jobs, invest millions in infrastructure and test innovative ways to serve its customers. In an effort to continue its growth and investment in the Sunshine State, Walmart has finalized, or is planning, the following investments across Florida this fiscal year. (Feb. 1, 2017 through Jan. 31, 2018):
- Open nine new stores across the state, creating more than 800 jobs statewide.
- Execute a multi-million-dollar capital investment plan by remodeling more than 40 locations across the state.
- In the coming months, the company will announce the official grand opening of its 150-acre eCommerce Distribution Center campus in Davenport, which has recently been certified as fully operational.
- Currently employing more than 550 recently hired associates with plans to hire at least 1,000 more over the next year.
- Approximate investment of more than $300 million with two buildings spanning more than 2.2 million sq. ft.
- The company, today, is also confirming its plans to break ground later this year on a new Distribution Center for perishable goods in the City of Cocoa.
- The company plans to employ more than 450 associates once fully operational.
- The company is planning an investment of more than $145 million on the 640,000 sq. ft. facility.
“This year has been an exciting one for Walmart in Florida, and we’ll build on that momentum as we continue to focus on how to better serve our customers through innovation and investments so they can save both time and money,” said Elise Vasquez-Warner, Walmart’s Vice President and Regional General Manager in North Florida. “We’ve had a sharp focus on making our store experience second to none and our customers are telling us that our plan is working. Our team is energized and we’re looking forward to exceeding our customer’s expectations for what a great Walmart shopping experience can be like.”
Walmart’s 2017-2018 investment plans build on Walmart’s growth last year in Florida, which included:
- Hiring more than 3,225 Floridians by opening more than 20 stores/clubs across the state.
- Investing millions of dollars in more than 30 store remodels across the state.
- The expansion of its Online Grocery Pickup service to 70 stores and the launch of Walmart Pay statewide.
- Opening a state-of-the-art Supercenter in Lake Nona with some of the newest shopping innovations in retail. The store showcases new approaches to technologies, services, products and store layout, which will be tested with customers and evaluated for potential implementation in other locations across the country.
The following illustrates Walmart’s local impact on key issues in the Global Responsibility Report:
Opportunity: Associate Training, Education and Wages
Walmart is addressing barriers that can impede career advancement for associates. In FY2017, Walmart completed a $2.7 billion investment in U.S. associates that included increases in training, education and higher wages. FY17 achievements in Florida included:
- Opening two Walmart Academies in Florida in FY17 -- while training more than 3,300 Walmart associates through the six Academies open to date. (Hudson, Melbourne, Mulberry, Naples, Navarre and Palatka)
- Awarding a total of more than $52 million in quarterly bonuses to Florida associates in FY17.
- Continuing its commitment to hire military veterans for a total of more than 9,700 veterans hired in Florida since launching the Walmart Veterans Welcome Home Commitment in May 2013.
Community: Making a Difference & Giving Back
In FY17, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation invested more than $1.4 billion in communities worldwide, including more than $82 million in cash and in-kind contributions to non-profits throughout Florida.
As the nation’s largest grocer, Walmart is uniquely positioned to support organizations that are on the front lines in the fight against hunger. In addition to donating more than 45 million pounds of food to local Florida food banks – equivalent to more than 37.5 million meals – Walmart and the Walmart Foundation donated more than $50 million toward hunger relief efforts across Florida in FY17, including more than $700,000 for after school and breakfast in the classroom programs.
Walmart also engages customers across the country in making an impact on hunger in their local communities. In the U.S., Walmart stores and Sam’s Club locations teamed up with customers and participating suppliers to support Feeding America through the “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” campaign, raising more than $17 million in funds in FY17, including funds for the following Florida Feeding America affiliate food banks:
- All Faiths Food Bank, Sarasota
- America’s Second Harvest of the Big Bend, Inc., Tallahassee
- Feeding America Tampa Bay, Tampa
- Feeding Northeast Florida, Jacksonville
- Feeding South Florida, Pembroke Park
- Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida, Fort Myers
- Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, Orlando
- Treasure Coast Food Bank, Fort Pierce
Walmart associates are deeply engaged in their communities and in FY17, associates overall volunteered more than 1.2 million hours generating more than $12 million in Walmart donations, including more than 74,000 hours with local non-profits and charitable causes in Florida, marking another way in which the company supports and impacts the local communities it serves.
About Walmart in Florida
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online and through their mobile devices. In Florida, we serve customers at 375 retail units and online through Walmart Grocery Pickup, Walmart.com and Jet.com. We are proud to employ more than 108,000 associates in Florida. Learn more at the Walmart Today blog, and on our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram channels. Walmart opened its first store in Florida in 1982.