Retailers had to change their fulfillment operations due to the coronavirus outbreak in the country. The urgent situation made the stores shut down, and those who are left open had to shift their inventory to the online shoppers. The ship from store operation began with Levi’s in April.
Moody’s lead retail analyst Chares O’Shea’s takes on this situation of companies during the pandemic: “Nobody’s prepared for this.”
The dramatic shift of consumer demand in 2020 leads to a struggle for retailers like Home Depot and Walmart. During a natural disaster, retailers try to deploy their products in the locally affected area. But this pandemic also prevented the retailers from following this model.
O’Shea also said, “You couldn’t move things geographically because you had to keep things pretty balanced.”
He further said that retailers tried to stocking an entire network instead of redeploying. And it made things difficult.
According to him, retailers those who already invested in the store-based fulfillment made the best decision.
Also, as per Target, COO John Mulligan said 2020’s digital growth and sales on the shipped orders from different stores rose more than $1.6 billion.
The GlobalTranz director of customer solutions, Karen Tyndall, has remarked about the logistic challenges for the inexperienced ones.
It will need a retailer to manage space for its operational moves. It may seem difficult for them to turn the malls into a place to pack and label the orders. It will also lead to increased staff requirements.
Retailers must be aware of their procurement needs. For retailers with multiple locations should know how to deal with multiple location shipment sources.
As per the survey, 74% of the respondents are likely to work with the managed transportation providers. Those who use the inbound handling logistic, this can be hard for them, as Tyndall says.
She further said that the larger items are getting rejected due to more volume flow in the parcel network. Logistics are turning towards trucks and trailers for the smaller sized packages.
O’Shea also pointed out that not every retailer should opt for the ship from store operation due to increased cost.
“We are in … a pandemic-driven experimentation phase for retailers”. “They’re literally drinking out of a firehose, and they’re trying to figure out” how to prepare their operations for the future.” – this is how he explained the whole situation.