Walmart to Open 1.2 Million Sq. Ft. Fulfillment Center in Bethlehem, Add 350 New Jobs
- Oct 03, 2013
Liberty Property Trust, one of the biggest commercial landlords which owns and manages more than 15.1 million square feet of space in the Lehigh Valley area, announced a record 1.2 million-square-foot lease in the Lehigh Valley Industrial Park VII in Bethlehem.
According to a press release from the company, the distribution facility located at 2785 Commerce Center Blvd. was leased to Walmart and stands as Liberty Property’s highest quarterly leasing in its history of 41 years. The lease will commence January 1, 2014.
The retail giant plans to open a new center—the largest of its kind for the company—dedicated to filling online orders at the Bethlehem location. When fully operational in the first quarter of 2014, the large-scale distribution facility will employ more than 350 full-time positions to support the company’s growing, multi-billion dollar e-commerce services, with more temporary jobs likely to be added during holiday and other peak seasons. The Bethlehem distribution center will be fully managed by Walmart and will house electronics, toys, apparel, fitness equipment, sporting goods and other products that will be delivered faster and at lower costs.
“As Walmart moves forward with expansion of its e-commerce business we will be a partner in ensuring Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley remain a continued part of that growth,” said Governor Tom Corbett who was quoted in a press statement.
As reported by Businessweek, Walmart’s new distribution center in the Lehigh Valley area will compete directly with Amazon.com, which also has a fulfillment center at 705 Boulder Drive in Breinigsville. To balance this out, Walmart’s recruitment staff could take advantage of one of the largest layoffs in the Lehigh Valley, as Walgreens recently announced that it will shut down its distribution center in Hanover Township and release around 400 employees.
Walmart also opened another large-scale fulfillment center in Fort Worth, Texas. Totaling 800,000 square feet of space, the facility has already started shipping orders.
Company logo via walmart.com