A growing number of retailers, including heavyweight chains Best Buy, Dick's Sporting Goods, Gap, Macy's, Nordstrom and Walmart, are using stores as mini distribution centers to fulfill online orders. The idea is that "ship from store" allows retailers to be more responsive to customer needs while cutting costs in the process. In the end, the chains believe they'll gain a competitive advantage over Amazon.com and others as a result.
"Some people talk about Amazon with their 100 distribution centers, God bless them. We have 2,600 distribution centers," Glenn Murphy, CEO of Gap, Inc., told USA Today. The company began shipping online orders from its Banana Republic, Gap and Old Navy locations in 2012.
In a March RetailWire poll, 65 percent of respondents said ship from store would give bricks and clicks retailers a meaningful competitive advantage over pure play e-tailers in the next three to five years.
Matt Nemer, a retail industry analyst at Wells Fargo Securities, told USA Today that ship from store "is the most important thing that will change physical retailers over the next five years."
Do you agree or disagree that ship from store "is the most important thing that will change physical retailers over the next five years"?