Original story from Inside Indiana Business

SEYMOUR, Ind. – The Walmart regional distribution center in Seymour is getting a major upgrade. The retail giant announced Monday night it will invest $108 million in the facility that, when complete, will nearly double its shipping capacity.

The investment will add automation technology that the company said will increase the speed with which merchandise gets sent to Walmart stores. It will also help retain the facility’s 914 employees, according to the Jackson County Industrial Development Corp. (JCIDC).

The company said the move will provide new career opportunities for employees at the facility by evolving their skills in robotics and technology.

“Walmart’s Seymour distribution center has been a pillar in our community for over 30 years. Adding robotics, automation and AI-powered software systems to this facility will revolutionize an already impressive operation, fundamentally changing the way we distribute products to stores,” Mike Baecke, general manager of the Seymour facility, said in a news release. “This isn’t just an investment in our facility, but also in our associates, our community and our future.”

The $108 million is for the first phase of the project, which is slated to begin later this year and continue into 2024, the JCIDC told Inside INdiana Business. Details on future phases were not immediately available.

When contacted by IIB, a spokesperson for Walmart declined to provide any additional information on the project.

Plans for the investment were announced during Monday’s meeting of the Seymour City Council. The council unanimously approved a 10-year tax abatement for the project, which JCIDC Executive Director Jim Plump said will save the company about $6 million over the abatement period.

“We are thrilled that Walmart is making this investment in Seymour,” Seymour Mayor Matt Nicholson added in written remarks. “This is a significant investment and shows the company’s long-term commitment to our region.”

Walmart said the investment is part of a broader effort to renovate the company’s 42 regional distribution centers and modernize its supply chain network.

“The improvements we’re making in our Seymour distribution center will be felt by store associates and customers in the surrounding region,” said James Valenti, regional general manager of north operations for Walmart. “For our store associates, these investments will make it significantly easier and faster to stock shelves, which results in our customers having the items they want, when they want them.”

Walmart employs more than 43,000 people throughout Indiana.

The announcement comes less than a month after Walmart opened a 2.2 million-square-foot fulfillment center in McCordsville that will employ some 1,000 people by the end of 2025.