Executive Briefings

Should You Close the Warehouse and Keep Inventory in Your Stores?

A hot topic among retailers, customers and logistics professionals alike for years, omnichannel fulfillment is finally here. Whether shopping in person, buying online and picking up in store, or having merchandise sent directly to them, customers expect access to the same inventory.

Smart apparel retailers can blend the "I want it now" tug from customers with their own "I want inventory reduced from this particular store" perspectives to create win-win situations that move products efficiently along every sales channel.
While online retailers without a brick-and-mortar presence rely on constructing regional warehouses near population centers to serve customers quickly, traditional retailers can tap into existing networks of stores to act as "mini-warehouses" and fulfill web orders directly from available inventories. This allows products to be sent from locations that are closer to customers, reducing shipping costs and expediting transit times.

This is vital to apparel retailers because fulfilling omnichannel orders directly from store shelves keeps inventory on display and out of warehouses and stockrooms; that opens it up to sale from e-commerce channels and brick-and-mortar customers at the same time. It also reduces barriers to thriving in the online space. For all but the largest e-commerce exclusive online-only retailers, maintaining a network of warehouses has become a hurdle to efficient e-commerce fulfillment — so much so that many retailers are abandoning this approach and moving to store-level fulfillment.

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Smart apparel retailers can blend the "I want it now" tug from customers with their own "I want inventory reduced from this particular store" perspectives to create win-win situations that move products efficiently along every sales channel.
While online retailers without a brick-and-mortar presence rely on constructing regional warehouses near population centers to serve customers quickly, traditional retailers can tap into existing networks of stores to act as "mini-warehouses" and fulfill web orders directly from available inventories. This allows products to be sent from locations that are closer to customers, reducing shipping costs and expediting transit times.

This is vital to apparel retailers because fulfilling omnichannel orders directly from store shelves keeps inventory on display and out of warehouses and stockrooms; that opens it up to sale from e-commerce channels and brick-and-mortar customers at the same time. It also reduces barriers to thriving in the online space. For all but the largest e-commerce exclusive online-only retailers, maintaining a network of warehouses has become a hurdle to efficient e-commerce fulfillment — so much so that many retailers are abandoning this approach and moving to store-level fulfillment.

Read Full Article