Walmart Takes Majority Stake in Symbotic

Retailer last month expanded its partnership with the warehouse automation specialist
Symbotic warehouse automation
Photograph courtesy of Walmart

Walmart has purchased a 62.2% stake in warehouse automation technology provider Symbotic, the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer disclosed in an SEC filing. 

In May, Walmart and Wilmington, Mass.-based Symbotic said they were expanding a partnership first announced last summer to implement Symbotic's robotics tech and automation platform into Walmart distribution centers. Originally, Symbotic was set to supply its advanced automation to 25 regional distribution centers (RDCs); under the expanded agreement, Symbotic technology will be deployed to all 42 of Walmart's RDCs.

Symbotic went public on the Nasdaq earlier this month through a SPAC deal coordinated with SoftBank Investment Advisers. It trades under the symbol SYM.

Symbotic has tailored its AI-powered systems—first tested in a Walmart distribution center in Florida in 2017—to meet Walmart's needs, said Joe Metzger, EVP of supply-chain operations for Walmart U.S., when the companies' initial partnership was announced last July. The technology operates "with a precision that speeds the intake process and increases the accuracy of freight being stored for future orders," Metzger said at the time.

See also: Pedal to the Metal: Walmart Plans to Spend Big for Speed

In its SEC filing, dated June 7—the day before Symbotic debuted on the Nasdaq—Walmart disclosed the purchase of approximately 58.8 million shares of Class A common stock.





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