ECOMMERCE

Report: Amazon fulfillment center network far ahead of other retailers

BY Dan Berthiaume

Keeping track of Amazon's constantly expanding network of facilities is tough, but one count puts the retailer at having 173 supply chain centers across the globe.

According to a new report from ChannelAdvisor, the online giant has 104 North American facilities and 69 facilities outside North America. The total number includes fulfillment centers (FCs,), sortation centers (SCs), redistribution fulfillment centers (RFCs) and "Prime Now" hubs (PNs).

"Amazon is very far ahead of any other retailer in the build out of e-commerce oriented logistical infrastructure," states ChannelAdvisor. "Amazon now has the ability to put millions of products miles away from a large portion of the US population. In a world where selection/assortment, fast/inexpensive shipping matter to the consumer, Amazon has built a huge competitive moat that is 10X larger than the nearest competitor."

As Amazon pushes down delivery times and costs, with programs like Amazon Prime Fresh, same day delivery, and next hour delivery via Prime Now, Channel Advisor predicts that other retailers are going to struggle to come close.

The region with the largest investment by Amazon is the Northeast, with a new 200,000-sq.-ft. FC and SC in New Jersey, a new SC in Connecticut, a million-square-foot FC in the Boston area and a 7,000-sq.-ft. SC in Pennsylvania.

The Midwest is also receiving a lot of investment with five new facilities. The Chicago area received two FCs and a SC and the Twin Cities are getting two large FCs, with one measuring 820,000-sq.-ft.

The West Coast, Southeast, Southwest and Mexico have all received relatively smaller investments this past year. California has two new FCs open, while San Marcos, Texas had a new 885,000-sq.-ft. FC announced in Augustc2015 and Mexico had its first FC announced in November 2014.

Outside North America, Eastern Europe had three previously announced FCs open in Poland. The U.K. has a 250,000-sq.-ft. FC expected to open later this fall, as well as an Amazon Fresh facility announced for London in August 2015. China had an 86,000-sq.-ft FC open in in November 2014 in Huangpu Development Zone.
In the past 12 months, Amazon has opened 15 domestic and six international facilities, totaling 21 new facilities, or 14% growth, as well as more than 115 million-sq-ft worldwide under management. This represents a slow-down from a percentage standpoint.

According to Channel Advisor analysis, in addition to building new facilities, Amazon is investing in automation, fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) fee structure, retooling/renovations and other areas to get more performance out of the existing infrastructure.

In addition, as Amazon builds out the logistical network, Channel Advisor observes that Amazon is cutting out third-party carriers like UPS and FedEx in areas with a lot of Amazon Prime members.

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News

Wegmans set to open its 87th store

BY Michael Johnsen

Wegmans has confirmed the next location of the family-owned supermarket chain's 87th store.

The retailer plans to build a store in Lancaster, Pa. The store is expected to be up to 120,000 sq. ft. in size and similar in design to Wegmans’ newest stores.

"We look forward to the day when we can welcome customers to Wegmans in Lancaster,” stated Ralph Uttaro, Wegmans’ SVP real estate. “Lancaster residents have been asking us to build a store for a long time. In fact, we know that many now travel to our other locations to shop. Now we will be able to bring incredible customer service, help with meals, and consistent low prices to them.”

Wegmans will anchor the planned mixed-use project, The Crossings at Conestoga Creek, a development of High Real Estate Group. The site, just outside Lancaster city limits, is in Manheim Township on Harrisburg Pike, just east of its interchange with U. S. Route 30.

“High is extremely pleased to be able to partner with Wegmans, another multi-generational family-owned company, highly distinguished due to its values and beliefs in serving the needs of its customers, the communities in which it does business and its own people,” said Steve Evans, High’s SVP and managing director – retail division. “Wegmans, well known for its mission to offer choice, quality and value, will be a stellar anchor for The Crossings.”

Lancaster is about 35 miles southeast of Wegmans' Mechanicsburg, Pa. store and 35 miles northwest of its Downingtown, Pa. store.

High Real Estate Group is in the process of seeking approvals and permits to develop The Crossings. Wegmans hopes to open the new store in 2018, but a firm timeline will not be announced until all necessary approvals are in place.

Wegmans currently operates 16 stores and a retail service center distribution hub in Pennsylvania and 86 stores nationwide. On Nov. 8, the company will open its 17th Pennsylvania store in Concordville (Delaware County).

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ECOMMERCE

Yorkdale Shopping Centre adding pop-ups, high-tech messaging service

BY Marianne Wilson

Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto is hoping to engage holiday shoppers with a series of pop-up shops and a online/texting messaging concierge service.

Yorkdale's holiday pop up shops include:

  • Brika is an innovative retail concept that curates and sells the work of the most talented and authentic makers, artisans and designers. Brika has had pop up locations across North America.
  • Nutra-Fruit Cranberry is a Quebec-based company that has ballooned to more than 200 employees in the past two years based on online and seasonal pop up shops.
  • Drake General Store, a popular extension of the Drake Hotel Properties, is proudly Canadian and will offer its curated curiosities, chic clothing and eclectic gifts.
  • Kit and Ace specializes in garments made from its exclusive “technical cashmere” fabrication.

In addition, the shopping center will be one of the first Canadian shopping centres to offer shoppers access to guest services teams via text or online messaging. Beginning November 1st, shoppers will have instant access to a guest service concierge for any kind of information they need to make shopping easier. The service, from Kipsu, allows for the planning for any shopping trip to start before customers even leave their home. Yorkdale guest services staff will be actively monitoring the text/messaging feature during regular shopping hours.

"We are committed to delivering an exceptional shopping experience and our Kipsu messaging concierge opens communications channels like never before," said Yorkdale general manager Claire Santamaria.

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