High-tech Walmart store heads to NWA

This undated file photo shows Walmart's sign in front of its Bentonville headquarters.

Walmart Inc. will open a high-tech, in-store fulfillment center on Monday in Bentonville -- its first such center in Arkansas and its second in the U.S.

The company said in a news release Friday that the Market Fulfillment Center is built inside Store 100 at 406 S. Walton Blvd. It will use Walmart's proprietary Alphabot storage and retrieval system.

"Walmart's strategic use of technology to transform its stores aims to better the shopping experience for customers and open doors to opportunities for associates," the company said.

Walmart said it plans to open a mix of manual and tech-powered market fulfillment centers in coming years.

The Bentonville-based retailer has used Alphabot autonomous carts since at least 2019, when they were put to work in a New Hampshire Supercenter to store and retrieve items for online grocery orders. The bots were built by Alert Innovation, a robotics automation company.

Walmart agreed in October to acquire the firm it has worked with since 2016.