Walmart Inc. /zigman2/quotes/207374728/composite WMT -1.12% said Wednesday that it has partnered with robotics company Symbotic to automate 25 regional distribution centers across the country over the next several years. Upgrades include the addition of "high-speed mobile bots" and "high-speed palletizing robotics" that will get items on shelves more quickly and keep down out-of-stocks, among other benefits. Walmart began working with Symbotic in 2017 when the company optimized a distribution center in Brooksville, Fla. Retailers have taken tech-driven competition to the supply chain, upgrading distribution and fulfillment facilities in order to meet the demands of increased online shopping. Kroger Co. /zigman2/quotes/206215053/composite KR +1.41% and Ocado Group /zigman2/quotes/207225647/delayed UK:OCDO +4.57% opened their first hi-tech fulfillment center in April that also puts bots at the center of the effort to make the facility more efficient. Walmart stock has fallen 2.7% for the year to date while the Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -2.53% has gained 14.4% for the period.
A previous version of this report included a typo in Symbotic's name. It has been corrected.