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Could You Use a Pop-up Distribution Center for a Little While?

While pop-up retail is not new - dating back to California-based Vacant in 1999 - the concept of pop-up distribution centers is a fairly new one. Following the same idea, it involves setting up a temporary distribution center in a specific location for a set period of time to meet a temporary need, then shutting it down.

A business selects the pop-up distribution center well before the peak season, setting up and finalizing the software and processes well ahead of time, according to Doug Brochu, CEO of Bridge Solutions Group, a provider of IBM omnichannel and supply chain technology solutions. “Once all the implementation activities are completed, the distribution center is stocked with the inventory for the peak season, typically the top 1,000 or so SKUs.

“Once the items are received into the pop-up distribution center, the merchant determines when to start fulfilling customer orders. The idea is to ship the distribution center 'clean' by emptying it of all inventory. If anything remains at the end of peak season, it is shipped back to the full-time warehouses.”

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