Last year, DC Velocity published our first supplement focusing on one of the most important trends in the retail industry, omnichannel commerce. Since that supplement's publication, omnichannel has drawn increasing attention from retailers and their suppliers, from analysts and media.
In this special multipart report, we take a fresh look at just how companies are grappling with the logistics challenges that omnichannel brings.
Once again, we've teamed up with ARC Advisory Group to conduct a survey of readers of DC Velocity and our sister publication, CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly, whose companies are tackling the many issues that arise when retail goes omnichannel. In the first section of the report, James Cooke details the key findings of that research. (ARC is also offering a more detailed examination of the omnichannel survey results in a separate report.)
This year's survey indicates that the top performers in the omnichannel arena have begun investing in software and technology to support these initiatives. The bad news is that many companies are still lagging in making the necessary investments in infrastructure.
The second part of our report takes a close look at how one company, Vitamin Shoppe, revamped its operations to meet the challenges that come with omnichannel. Omnichannel commerce has become central to the retailer's strategy. But the company recognizes that getting there is more of a marathon than a sprint. The journey has involved changing operations at the retailer's legacy distribution center, opening a new facility, and working with outside supply chain specialists and third-party service providers. It has meant changes to retail operations. And it is a process that continues. As Rich Tannenbaum, the company's senior vice president, supply chain and information technology, told Editorial Director Peter Bradley, "When shopping experiences are equally seamless and excellent, only then have we achieved omnichannel. That's where we're headed, one step at a time."
For the next piece in this special supplement, we asked several providers that work closely with retailers what a company looking to dive into omnichannel commerce needs to consider. They offer some useful advice.
Finally, Cooke, who recently stepped down as DC Velocity's editor at large, takes a look at an innovative British retailer that is turning the omnichannel model upside down. In his column, Cooke explains why the John Lewis Partnership may be on the forefront of omnichannel retailing with a new approach to distribution.
Omnichannel Special Report:
Study: to excel at omnichannel distribution, you need the right stuff
Everyone wants to be the master of the omnichannel universe. But our exclusive study shows that most companies have been reluctant to make the necessary investment in distribution technology.
Vitamin Shoppe gets in shape for omnichannel
The fast-growing retailer revamped fulfillment and got firm control of its inventory to develop near seamless service for its health-conscious customers.
What to think about when you think about omnichannel
Looking to join the omnichannel revolution? Here are some things you need to consider.
Has a British retailer solved the omnichannel puzzle?
Instead of shipping cases or pallets to stores, John Lewis moved to a replenishment model of "buy one, replace one."