Walmart announced Tuesday that it will bring 350 new jobs to South Bethlehem early next year when it opens a massive e-commerce distribution center in Lehigh Valley Industrial Park VII.
The 1.2 million square foot center will be the largest Walmart has for fulfilling online orders, according to a company news release.
The shell of the building at 2785 Commerce Center Blvd. that Walmart will occupy has already been built speculatively by Liberty Property Trust, The Express Times reported. LVIP VII sits inside of the former Bethlehem Steel complex, the largest brownfield redevelopment site in the country.
"We're excited about this investment in Bethlehem as we continue our growth in Pennsylvania, which has been a tremendous business partner," said Joel Anderson, president and CEO of Walmart.com, in a news release from the Pennsylvania governor’s office.
The center will store and ship hundreds of thousands of items ranging from electronics, to toys, apparel, fitness equipment, sporting goods and more. The retailer has more than 130 of these distribution centers in its network.
In addition to employing about 350 full-time workers, the center is expected to employ more than twice that many during the holidays and other peak seasons.
“With our dedicated online facilities and 4,100 stores within five miles of two-thirds of the U.S. population, we gain a significant advantage by being positioned in the most important location—close to our customers,” Anderson said. “This unique combination allows us to get more products to our customers faster and at a lower cost.”
A rapidly expanding area for the company, Walmart's e-commerce business is expected to yield sales this year in excess of $10 billion globally.
"These new jobs will be long-term, dependable jobs for the hard-working Pennsylvanians of this region and are yet another sign of the continuing economic recovery across the state,” Gov. Tom Corbett said in a news release.