Walmart / Jet.com distribution center in Shepherdsville, Ky.

Walmart’s online shopping subsidiary Jet.com said in August 2018 that it would lease a newly built, 720,000-square-foot fulfillment center off Interstate 65 at the Cedar Grove Road exit to fulfill orders placed on Jet.com and Walmart.com. The warehouse stores everything from diapers to video games to paper towels.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Walmart still plans to create 400 full-time jobs at a new e-commerce distribution center in Shepherdsville, but the hiring won’t start until later this year, according to a company spokesman.

Meanwhile, about 140 workers who were employed by a contractor to temporarily staff the facility for the year-end online shopping rush have been laid off as part of a “seasonal ramp down,” the spokesman said. 

Last August, Walmart’s online shopping subsidiary Jet.com said it would lease a newly built, 720,000-square-foot fulfillment center off Interstate 65 at the Cedar Grove Road exit to fulfill orders placed on Jet.com and Walmart.com. The warehouse stores everything from diapers to video games to paper towels.

Gov. Matt Bevin called it “a major new venture for the company that will bring significant investment and hundreds of jobs to the region.”

Walmart told state officials that the average wage at the facility would be $14 per hour, or $16.25 when benefits are included.

But Walmart won’t directly hire regular, full-time employees for the fulfillment center until an unspecified time “later this year,” said Ravi Jariwala, a spokesman for Walmart’s e-commerce division.

In the meantime, Walmart has been using an outsourcing company, Denver-based IntelliSource, to run the warehouse, Jariwala said.

IntelliSource hired a little more than 200 for the year-end shopping rush, but today employs just under 60 at the facility, Jariwala said.

One worker, Brian Steele, told WDRB he was promised a “full-time, permanent” position at the warehouse but never got a full 40-hour work week there before being laid off in late December.

Using a third-party operator like IntelliSource was the fastest way for Walmart to get the facility up and running for the December 2018 shopping peak, Jariwala said.

The fulfillment center will be “relaunched” as a company-operated facility before the 2019 holiday shopping season, Jariwala said. He could not say exactly when the change will occur. 

Walmart’s Jet.com Inc. could collect up to $3 million in economic development incentives from state government and the city of Shepherdsville over 10 years if it follows through with the projected 400 permanent jobs.

But the company hasn’t received a dime of that money yet, said Jack Mazurak, a spokesman for the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.

Jet.com still needs to finalize its incentive agreement with the state, and only direct jobs created by Jet.com – not any third-party contractor – would count toward the $3 million reward, he said.

Reach reporter Chris Otts at 502-585-0822, cotts@wdrb.com, on Twitter or on Facebook. Copyright 2019 WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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Chris Otts reports for WDRB.com about business and economic topics, higher education and local / state government. He joined WDRB News in 2013 after seven years with The Courier-Journal. Got a tip? Chris is at 502-585-0822 and cotts@wdrb.com.