For supermarkets, fulfilling orders from neighborhood stores with full assortments is a distinct competitive advantage versus online services that ship mostly packaged products from centralized distribution centers. This is most keenly realized with respect to perishable or prepared products, but bulk and weight can make use of third-party delivery services impractical.
However, order picking in the stores brings adverse consequences on store inventory management, product replenishment and upstream supply chain management. It doesn’t matter whether the baskets are destined for home delivery or customer pickup. These challenges add to operating costs at a moment when online price transparency is putting greater pressure on margins.
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This post is sponsored by Itasca Retail Information Systems