The nation’s largest retailer has finalized plans to establish a massive facility in Hancock County. Walmart (NYSE: WMT) says it will invest $600 million to build a 2.2 million-square-foot fulfillment center south of McCordsville and create up to 1,000 jobs by the end of 2025.
The Indiana Economic Development Corp. says the facility will be Walmart’s largest e-commerce fulfillment center in the country.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Director of Government Relations Kevin Thompson said Hancock County was an easy choice.
“We’ve got a number of fulfillment centers in Indiana and this one, it’s obviously on the east side of Indianapolis, but it still has great distribution network, great transportation features. The land worked out well,” said Thompson. “And we’ve had such a positive experience as we continue to grow and invest in Indiana working with IEDC and Hancock County and others.”
The facility will sit on more than 200 acres in an unincorporated part of the county. The company says the building will allow it to expand its e-commerce operations for both its own online inventory and it’s third-party fulfillment business, Walmart Fulfillment Services.
“It’s really designed to help smaller sellers scale up,” said Thompson. “So what we’ll do is we will pack, ship and store those third party sellers’ items and then ship them out to customers on their behalf.”
Walmart currently employs more than 41,000 people throughout Indiana. The company plans to begin hiring for receiving, picking, packing, shipping and management positions in the spring of 2022.
“The state has done a tremendous job in the workforce space and based on our track record really throughout the state…we’ve always had a successful time working with county or state workforce boards and partnering with them to make sure we get a good applicant pool,” Thompson says. “We have no doubt that the talent pool on the east side of the city will be certainly a great opportunity for the state.”
Construction on the facility is expected to begin this month. The company plans to start fulfillment and distribution in the fall of 2022, with the goal of reaching full operational capacity by the spring of 2024.
“We are very, very pleased that Walmart has found Hancock County, and the Mt. Comfort Road Corridor in particular, to be ideal for their operations,” said Hancock County Council President Bill Bolander. “Both Hancock County and the Hancock Economic Development Council will continue to work with Walmart to ensure a smooth and successful launch and continuing operation of their facility with regard to workforce, infrastructure and overall economic development improvements within the county.”
The IEDC has offered Walmart up to $6 million in conditional tax credits, which the company will not be eligible to claim until Hoosier workers are hired for the new jobs. The Hancock County Council and the Hancock County Redevelopment Commission have approved additional incentives.
Thompson says Hancock County was an easy choice for the facility.