Wal-Mart adds 2 distribution centers

Posted: October 1, 2013 at 6:54 a.m.

NEW YORK — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is opening two new distribution centers dedicated to filling online orders as the world's largest retailer responds to its surging e-commerce business and a dramatic expansion of its product offerings.

The discounter said Tuesday that one center, which is in Fort Worth, and employs 275 full-time associates, began shipping orders last week. The other facility, based in Bethlehem, Pa., will ultimately employ more than 350 full-time workers. It's set to open during the company's fiscal first quarter of next year. Combined, the new operations will house hundreds of thousands of items ranging from toys and electronics to clothing.

Wal-Mart, which is based in Bentonville but which runs its online business out of San Bruno, Calif., operates more than 130 distribution centers. Many of those handle both in-store and online orders. About 35 of the more than 4,000 stores it operates in the U.S. are being used to ship products directly to online shoppers. And the company offers customers the ability to buy online and then pick up the order in a local store as soon as the same day.