How the Pandemic Spun Previous Retail Supply Chain Models
When brick and mortar stores were ordered to close due to a nationwide lockdown, the only reasonable yet collective solution was figuring out a way to fulfill in-store inventory in an efficient manner. While big corporations such as Target or Walmart were better equipped to handle such a drastic and instantaneous change, other establishments scrambled to set up an infrastructure that would be able to handle eCommerce and shipments from physical locations.
Sharon Price, CEO of Build-A-Bear touched on the new plan they took action on as a result of the pandemic. She said, “We expedited the infrastructure to be able to buy online and ship from store in order to supplement e-commerce fulfillment while leveraging labor that we would already have available in retail stores after they have reopened”.
Voin Todorovic, the company’s CFO added, “We were able to support this growth through our efforts of improving throughput in our warehouse, accelerating omnichannel initiatives in ... our last-mile delivery, including buy online pick up in store or ship from store programs”. Despite Build-A-Bear sales decreasing 23% YoY during the year, the eCommerce demand sky-rocketed to a 133% YoY.
The pandemic has forced a multitude of changes upon the retail industry but has especially had a large impact on the supply chain and warehousing aspects of retail. The demand for fulfillment has reached record breaking heights. As restrictions begin to ease up and the amount of vaccinated citizens rise, the supply chain industry is experiencing a new equilibrium.
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