Amazon looks Southwest for latest facility
Amazon.com is continuing its rapid pace of distribution infrastructure expansion with a planned new center in Houston.
The 855,000-sq.-ft. fulfillment center will employ more than 1,000 full-time workers. Employees will pick, pack and ship smaller customer items, such as books, electronics and toys.
Amazon currently employs more than 10,000 full-time hourly associates at its five operating Texas fulfillment centers. Elsewhere in the Lone Star State, Amazon currently operates fulfillment centers in Coppell, Haslet, Dallas, Fort Worth, and Schertz, with an upcoming facility in San Marcos currently under construction.
“With Houston’s legacy as a pioneer in innovation and exploration, we are proud to become a member of the community with the announcement of a new fulfillment center in the region,” said Akash Chauhan, Amazon’s VP of North American operations. “We are excited to create more than 1,000 full-time jobs and to become a member of the business community.”
Amazon has been actively unveiling additions to its supply chain infrastructure in recent months. In addition to the new facilities planned for Houston and San Marcos, the company has five new facilities planned in California and intends to open centers in Braselton, Georgia and Kansas City, Kansas, two fulfillment centers in Edwardsville, Illinois, as well as two new fulfillment centers in New Jersey, in Florence and Carteret.
Irish value fashion brand continues U.S. expansion
A brand known for its low, low prices and high volume has opened its fifth U.S. store.
Primark has opened at PREIT’s Willow Grove Park Mall in the Philadelphia suburb of Willow Grove, Pennsylvania. This is the second Primark location in the Philadelphia region. The store occupies 58,300 sq. ft. of space previously occupied by Sears on the second and third floors of the southwest side of the mall. It features 59 fitting rooms and 47 registers, recharge areas, as well as a fashion "trend room.”
Primark, a subsidiary of Associated British Foods, sells a wide range of merchandise, including womenswear, menswear, children’s apparel, home goods and beauty products. It operates more than 300 stores.
“Retailers like Primark, delivering fashion and value that is limited to the brick-and-mortar format, are in high demand in today’s retail environment, meeting the evolving needs of consumers,” said Joseph F. Coradino, CEO of PREIT, which owns and operates over 25 million square feet of retail space in the eastern half of the United States. "New anchors, along with a unique roster of retailers, diverse dining, entertainment and experiential offerings are the keys to success in today’s mall setting.”
Over the past several years, PREIT has focused on strategic anchor redevelopment, enhancing its portfolio quality with the addition of niche retailers and “retailtainment” offerings. Earlier this year, the company executed a lease to bring Dick’s Sporting Goods and Field & Stream to its Viewmont Mall in Scranton, Pennsylvania, as well as Round 1 Entertainment – offering billiards, ping pong and bowling – at its Exton Square Mall.
Additionally, the company announced the development of a LegoLand Discovery Center at the Plymouth Meeting Mall, marking one of nine locations in the country and the only one in the state.
Study: Bigger doesn’t always mean better customer experience
Forrester Research has identified the retailers with the most and least satisfactory experience, and a very prominent name scored poorly.
Based on a survey of 122,500 U.S. adult consumers across a range of industries, Forrester’s “Customer Experience Index Online Survey – U.S. Consumers” indicates that QVC was the highest-scoring digital-only retail brand and Barnes & Noble was the highest-scoring traditional retail brand. Conversely, Gilt was the lowest-scoring digital-only retail brand and Walmart was the lowest-scoring traditional retail brand.
The study also reveals that based on overall scores and emotion, online retailers deliver a superior customer experience to that of traditional retailers. As an industry, they had a higher high score, a higher low score, and a higher average score than their bricks-and-clicks competitors.
In addition, digital retailers delivered 17 positive emotional experiences for every negative one, compared with just 13 positive emotional experiences for every negative one among traditional retailers. Zappos offered by far the most emotionally positive customer experience in the entire Index, with a ratio of 64 positive experiences for every one negative emotional experience.
Of all brands studied in the Index, QVC and Zappos were the highest-rated retailers, tied for fifth. Other retailers receiving top overall rankings include HSN (#7), Newegg (#12), Etsy (#12), and Barnes & Noble (#12). Barnes & Noble is the only traditional retailer to be ranked that highly overall. Credit card provider USAA was ranked #1 of all brands studied.