Retail Stores Are Turning Into Distribution Hubs

As the holiday retail season is officially underway, Haresh Gurnani, Executive Director of Center for Retail Innovation at Wake Forest University School of Business says that many retailers have shifted away from the mindset ‘bricks and mortar vs. online.”

“A lot of the conversation happening now is how brick-and-mortar stores are being used as distribution centers/pickup points for online retailers,” said Gurnani.  “Most recently, the discussion has shifted away from online vs. offline to online and offline. The biggest driver pushing stores like Walmart, Target, etc. to enable faster and cost-effective order fulfillment through store pickup is the threat from Amazon Prime.”

The percentage of online orders delivered to stores is increasing.  Target, for example, reported that 26 percent of its orders online were delivered to the store within two days.  That’s compared to 2 percent between April 2012 –July 2014. 

Multiline retail category average: 27 percentfrom August 2014 to October 2015, compared with 22 percent, from April 2012 to July 2014, according to the Internet Retailer story. 

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