Zumiez turns stores into mini-fulfillment centers
Teen retailer Zumiez has enhanced its omnichannel strategy by using its stores as local fulfillment centers for online purchases.
The Lynwood, Washington-based retailer of board-sports apparel and gear wants to ensure customers can seamlessly shop among its 600-plus brick-and-mortar and digital channels. To that end, it has partnered with supply chain management software provider SalesWarp to aid in the performance of distributed order management, customer service, warehouse management, and in-store fulfillment.
Working closely with Zumiez, SalesWarp developed a distributed order management system, warehouse management system, customer service system, and in-store fulfillment application in six months from design start. The merchant also replaced its warehouse management software, providing a smooth process for putting away and moving inventory and for picking, packing, and shipping orders.
With SalesWarp’s software, Zumiez has gained influence and control over the final user experience, allowing the retailer to target key usability and brand goals within physical stores. The chain configured the software to make it intuitive for store associates to use.
Zumiez believes in a localized fulfillment experience for its customers and as a result, closed its centralized Web fulfillment center in the fourth quarter of 2015.
During the holiday 2015 period, the company conducted extensive testing to ensure that the SalesWarp software could handle the demands of peak season volume. It was able to fulfill in near-real-time through peak season from all store locations, with improvement in delivery and customer service.
Survey: Retail CFOs upping investment in store remodeling/redesign
Retail CFOs are bullish on online sales growth, but they are focusing fewer dollars on building out their online presence in 2016 as they look instead to enhance the in-store experience in response to omnichannel expectations.
That’s one of the findings of BDO’s 10th annual Retail Compass Survey of CFOs which found that, following several years of ramped-up investment, only 9% of CFOs say they will invest the most capital in their e-commerce channels, down from 22% last year. By contrast, 31% plan to invest the most capital in redesigning and remodeling stores, up from 9% in 2015.
Mobile appears to remain somewhat of a priority, with 41% planning to increase their spending on mobile platforms. But it still a big decline from last year when 68% of the CFOs planned to grow their spend.
“The smart money is now going towards bringing the convenience, customization and interactivity of e-commerce to the stores,” said Natalie Kotlyar, partner with BDO’s Consumer Business Practice. “Savvy retailers are looking to supplement customers’ online shopping habits with tactile, engaging in-store experiences.”
However, CFOs expect to see strong online sales — and with the continued popularity of e-commerce, a growing focus on cybersecurity, as well. Additional findings include:
• CFOs expect online sales to grow by nearly 10%;
• 69% expect cybersecurity regulation to increase;
• 52% have increased their spending on cybersecurity protections, and
•Three-quarters say they are currently EMV compliant.
High-profile brand taps into activewear craze with dedicated store
Stores devoted to women’s activewear (or athleisure) are one of the fastest- growing segments in retailing and now Tory Burch has joined the crowd. The company has opened Tory Sport in the Flatiron District of Manhattan. The store features the entire Tory Sport collection, which ranges from running gear to golf clothing, reported NY Racked, and has a decor inspired by different elements of sports. [NY Racked]