SUNNYVALE -- Walmart's Global eCommerce unit intends to hire hundreds of tech workers in a big expansion of its operations in Sunnyvale.

The retail giant's eCommerce unit has struck a deal to lease about 107,000 square feet on West California Avenue near the corner of Central Expressway and Mathilda Avenue.

"We are planning to expand to about 1,000 employees in Sunnyvale," said Bao Nguyen, a spokesman with Walmart Global eCommerce, whose operations are headquartered in San Bruno.

At present, the eCommerce unit has about 550 employees in Sunnyvale at 600 W. California, Nguyen said.

Walmart will undertake a big expansion of its digital and e-commerce operations in Sunnyvale, where the retail titan already has about 500-plus workers.
Walmart will undertake a big expansion of its digital and e-commerce operations in Sunnyvale, where the retail titan already has about 500-plus workers. (Walmart photo)

"There is such a large concentration of engineers and technologies in Santa Clara County," Nguyen said. "They can be found all over the Bay Area, but there is a huge density of that talent pool in the South Bay. Sunnyvale and the South Bay are very important to us for recruitment."

Both of the Walmart eCommerce sites in Sunnyvale are within walking distance of an array of public transit, retail and restaurants.

"This is a very attractive location, given its proximity to Sunnyvale's downtown and the Caltrain station," said Jennifer Garnett, a spokeswoman for the city of Sunnyvale. Raytheon and Twitter are other businesses in the same office park where Walmart intends to expand.

Tenant improvements are underway in the offices to prepare the building for Walmart, which expects to move in sometimes this year. The lease was arranged through commercial realty brokerage Colliers International.

Sunnyvale has become a hot spot for tech expansion: Google, LinkedIn and Apple have leased large spaces over the past year or two that represent their first office operations in Sunnyvale. The Twitter lease represented the social network's initial outpost in the Bay Area beyond San Francisco, where the company has its headquarters.

"Large corporations are really interested in moving into Sunnyvale," said Chad Leiker, a broker with commercial realty firm Kidder Mathews. "That is putting a lot of pressure on rents and available space."

Brokers predicted more large office transactions would land in Sunnyvale in the coming weeks and months.

Walmart's digital operations in Sunnyvale and San Bruno are helping build the company's global e-commerce platform, its video-on-demand service and its mobile shopping services, Nguyen said.

Contact George Avalos at 408-859-5167. Follow him at Twitter.com/georgeavalos.