Retailers are shuttering brick and mortar locations at a faster rate than ever before, due to declining traffic and in-store sales. Major brand names like Gymboree, Payless Shoes, and RadioShack have announced bankruptcy, while Amazon posts record profits, and Walmart, Target, and other major brand names are putting efforts into their eCommerce platforms.
This graph from Business Insider (Business Insider/Mike Nudelman) shows the massive number (6,375) of major brand storefronts that have closed or will close in 2017. It’s no coincidence that so many retail locations are performing poorly this year. Consumer habits are changing, and the retail industry having to adapt along with it.
Supply Chain Efficiency Drives Modern Retail, Combats Store Closings
The takeaway from this data is that retail is shifting, not dying. eCommerce is booming—the National Retail Federation projects an 8-12% growth—so the most significant retail battles are being fought in that space. Retailers are searching for solutions that can give them a competitive edge.
Leveraging your supply chain to your advantage is crucial. Consumers primarily look at item availability, price, and shipping time when making an online purchase, but recent data suggests that they are alright with in-store pickup as long as it means getting their items sooner or not paying shipping, and it’s advantageous to retailers since it brings in foot traffic.
Using supply chain automation software, like transportation APIs, provides retailers with real-time visibility that they can pass along to their customers. It also allows for an optimized inventory management—items are easier for suppliers to deliver on-time and in-full, which makes it easier for brick-and-mortar locations to make informed decisions and avoid stockouts.
As retail locations begin to test new strategies and eCommerce continues to become the standard for retail sales, supply chain efficiency is emerging as the difference maker. Automation technology that provides real-time supply chain data, visibility, and inventory management.