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Walmart announces $118M warehouse in Rocky View County

A Walmart fulfilment facility slated for Southern Alberta is expected to increase two-day shipping availability to 61 per cent of Canadians.
Provided/Walmart Canada

Rocky View County will soon be home to a $118-million Walmart fulfilment centre after the retail giant announced plans to serve its western Canadian customer base from the Calgary area. 

It was announced on March 21 that Walmart would be building a 430,000-square-foot, high-tech fulfilment centre in the Balzac area. 
The facility will serve as a delivery Hub for all of Walmart's western Canadian shipping. 

The fulfilment centre is slated to be opened this September and will bring 325 permanent jobs, alongside temporary construction and engineering jobs. 

Alberta Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation, Doug Schweitzer, said the project is good news for Alberta's economy and contributes to a growing logistics hub in the Calgary area. 

"It's great news and diversifies the Alberta economy," Schweitzer said. "We're building on a foundation of logistics, manufacturing, warehousing, aviation - all these pieces together are positioning the Calgary region to become a logistics hub for western Canada."

The Balzac area is already home to several warehouses for other corporate giants such as Amazon and Lowes Canada. Schweitzer said given the resources available in the area, it makes sense that Walmart would seek to build their distribution centre there, also. 

"When you take a look at the geography of western Canada, particularly with where Calgary is located - the rail lines, the workforce, the availability of affordable real estate - it's just tailor-made to be a western Canadian distribution hub," Schweitzer said. "That's what we're seeing come to fruition with these investments."

Airdrie-East MLA Angela Pitt said Walmart's investment in employment opportunity would have a revitalizing effect on the region's economy. 

"This project will not only create short-term jobs while under construction but will also generate long-term employment opportunities for area residents," Pitt said in a statement. 

While no concrete information was given about the type of jobs that would come online with the fulfilment centre, Schweitzer said his conversations with Walmart led him to believe the positions would be competitive. 

"They're high-quality jobs," Schweitzer said. "I do know based on conversations we've had with them that they're highly competitive. These aren't minimum-wage jobs, they're high-quality jobs."

Once operational, the fulfilment centre is expected to be capable of shipping 20 million items annually and will be able to store 500,000 items for direct-to-home shipping and in-store pickup. 

Horacio Barbeito, the president and CEO of Walmart Canada, said the facility would improve the company's supply chain in the region.

"This modern facility will provide our associates with the latest logistics technology to improve our supply chain. That means more products available, more orders fulfilled and more Canadians offered two-day shipping," Barbeito said.

This new centre will increase two-day shipping availability to 61 per cent of Canadian customers, according to a Walmart press release.

Additionally, the facility plans to use robotic warehouse technology from fulfilment logistics company GreyOrange.

These technologies will assist employees in helping to sort, pick and store products and items.