Walmart (WMT) is laying the groundwork for a major surge in online sales.
The nation’s largest retailer is building a one million-square-foot warehouse in Pennsylvania to handle the fulfillment of online orders. The new facility, which will employ 350 workers, is expected to start operation early next year, USA TODAY notes.
In addition to the Pennsylvania center, the company has launched an 800,000-square-foot warehouse in Texas. That facility started operations last month, with 275 workers.
The company is planning to boost its online retailing operations in a bid to take on Internet giant Amazon (AMZN), which runs massive warehouses across the country. Walmart has moved to vastly increase the number of products its sells online in time for the holiday shopping season.
It’s online store is expected to offer 5 million stock keeping units (SKUs) by the end of the year, compared to about 125,000 SKUs in its brick and mortar SuperCenters. Walmart is also moving to cut delivery times, copying Amazon’s two-day delivery model.
Shares of Walmart fell modestly in Tuesday mid-day trading.