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The Chicago Business Journal reports that Walmart has opened a new, "next generation," one million-square-foot fulfillment center in Joliet, Illinois, that will "fill and ship orders placed on" as well as "handle Marketplace items shipped by Walmart Fulfillment Services, the company’s end-to-end fulfillment service for third-party e-commerce sellers."

The retailer says that the facility features "a new patent-pending process that will reduce a manual 12-step process to five steps with the use of robotics and machine learning."

Three additional fulfillment centers using this technology are scheduled to be opened across the country, Walmart said, which, when completed, "could provide 75% of the U.S. population with next- or two-day shipping."

KC's View:

The game is being played across a number of boards - the store, online, and in logistics … with the companies able to master all of them - sort of like playing three-dimensional chess - the ones that will have the ultimate advantage.