“The pandemic was a stress test that uncovered many weaknesses and faults in retailers’ operations,” according to Orlee Tal, CEO of Stor.ai, “We are seeing a growing number of retailers reassessing their current systems and working to deploy the next generation of e-commerce capabilities that blend the digital and physical shopping experiences. It’s now about customer-first commerce.”
Here is part three of the series.
Where will Orders be Fulfilled?
With the increase in online orders and store pickup, companies are having to find the space to pick these orders, whether they turn part of their store into fulfillment space or find additional space not attached to a store like micro-fulfillment centers or “dark stores”. We might see closed department storefronts turned into warehouse distribution centers, as online shopping rises and also the need increases for real estate in prime locations near city centers.
Walmart plans to open automated fulfillment centers within its stores and automated pickup points in their parking lots. Target plans to add sortation centers, in which stores will fulfil orders, the items are then transported to the sortation center where the items will be divided into different delivery routes, and from there partner carriers will complete the delivery. The company also plans on investing more in robotics and automation. Auto Re-bin that sorts items, has been implemented at three warehouses with plans to expand to others.
Some companies are moving operations to Florida and Texas in order to lower their taxes. With a lot of employees working from home, now is a good time to relocate business operations. “San Francisco’s a disaster, Los Angeles is a disaster, New York is a disaster, Chicago is freezing,” he said. “Now all of a sudden, relatively speaking, all of all these global brands are turning to South Florida and going, ‘It’s open for business, the weather’s nice’ said Marty Arrivo, founder and CEO of Acre, a property consultancy that’s been helping lease space around South Florida.
Tune in next week for part four of the series on how orders will be fulfilled.