The future of Walmart’s business will be decided in a new multi-million dollar deal that will see the retail giant buy a massive warehouse business that is already home to one of the largest online retailers in the world.
The deal was signed today by Walmart’s CEO Doug McMillon and general manager of Walmart logistics, Gary Hulbert, who also sits on the board of Walmart Global Business.
Walmart’s $300m deal with Amazon to build a warehouse for its Prime program, the largest e-commerce purchase in the history of the world, was first reported by The Wall Street Journal in March.
Mr McMillon said at the time that Amazon was looking to buy 1,000 warehouses across the world and that it was looking at a price of $1bn for the deal.
It’s the largest acquisition by a private company of a publicly traded warehouse company in Walmart’s history, Mr McMillon told investors.
“We’ve got this giant, massive warehouse operation in the UK, in Australia, in New Zealand, and all around the world,” Mr McMillion said.
He said the deal will allow Walmart to “take full advantage of the Amazon Prime service”.
“It’s not a question of whether we will have a Prime product, it’s a question about whether we can offer that product to a very broad audience,” he said.
“So we’ve got the Prime product and we can leverage that to take advantage of what we’ve already got.”
Mr McMillion also revealed that the company will be able to scale up its warehouse operations once it has the Prime program up and running, allowing it to move more products into its warehouses.
“We’re already up to 400 warehouses now, we can expand those,” he told analysts.
Walmart is already in the process of opening its new global HQ in the US, and plans to open a second HQ in Singapore, but said the new deal will mean more than half of its warehouses will be in the U.S. in the next five years.
“There’s no doubt we want to do this [move more goods] as quickly as we can,” Mr Hulbor said.
Mr Hulbetts comments were made on the same day the company reported a big decline in its third quarter earnings.
Shares in Walmart have fallen almost 24 per cent this year and are currently trading at $54.10 a share, which is down $3.7 per cent from the start of the year.
For the full list of companies that have signed agreements to acquire warehouses in the past 12 months, visit Business Insider’s database.