Macy’s has joined the ranks of retailers that are filling online orders with inventories from stores as well as warehouses.
The “omnichannel” approach is part of an effort by traditional retailers to meet a challenge posed by online retailers led by Amazon.com. Nordstom and Toys R’ Us are among retailers that have meshed their store and online supply chains.
Online sales for Macy’s rose 33.7 percent in the first quarter, accounting now for 7 percent of the company’s sales. To adapt its supply chain to expanded online sales, Macy’s is equipping stores to dispatch online orders that a warehouse may not have in stock.
“We now have over 80 stores equipped to fulfill orders from other stores or from online demand, and by the holiday season, we'll have over 290 store fulfillment locations,” Chief Financial Officer Karen Hoguet told analysts. Macy’s has more than 800 retail stores.
“We think the sales potential from this omnichannel approach is enormous,” Hoquet said. “In addition, over time, it should enable us to also improve the productivity of our inventory, as well as our store square footage. We have barely scratched the surface here, and we are very optimistic about the possibilities.”