Walmart Inc. said it plans to increase its China investment by 8 billion yuan or $1.2 billion in the next 10 to 20 years to upgrade its supply chain logistics, a spokeswoman for the retail giant confirmed Monday.
“Walmart continues to increase investment in supply chain logistics in order to enable our omnichannel development, continue to provide our Chinese customers with great fresh products, and improve our service,” said Ryan McDaniel, senior vice president of supply chain, Walmart China.
The comments followed the Osaka weekend meeting between President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping during the G20 summit, which provided renewed hope for a U.S-China trade agreement.
Walmart in March launched its first customized perishable distribution center, a 327,437-square-foot facility, for the south China region. The new perishable distribution center serves more than 100 Walmart stores in the Guangdong and Guangxi regions, with a maximum daily capacity of up to 165,000 boxes.
The first distribution center in China to pass BRC storage and supply chain standards, the new perishable DC is the biggest multi-temperature facility in China. It has the capabilities to handle 4,000 product types under constant and variable temperatures, including frozen, chilled and constant.
Walmart has been working to integrate its China retail network with the country’s burgeoning smart retail technology as tech-powered giants such as Alibaba and Tencent hook up with brick-and-mortar retailers and e-commerce sites.
The Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart unveiled last year its first small-format, high-tech supermarket. Smartphones are used to pay for products that are already available on the retailer’s JD Daojia platform, which is an affiliate of JD.com.
Walmart operates several formats in China, including about 400 traditional supermarkets, Sam’s Clubs and hypermarkets in more than 180 cities across the country.
With China Chain-Store and Franchise Association, PwC, Inner Mongolia Kerchin Co. Ltd. and VeChain, Walmart China launched the Walmart China Blockchain Traceability Platform built on the VeChainThor Blockchain. The announcement was made at the 2019 China Products Safety Publicity Week Traceability System Construction Seminar.
Since fresh food is a priority among Chinese consumers, Walmart China will use blockchain technology to find the source of scanned products and their geographic location; aid in the logistics process, product inspection reports, and data collection, among other things.