Stores as DCs

"The 83 Wal-Mart Supercenters that are shipping out online orders now handle more than a fifth of the goods bought on"

Inventory productivity is up as inventory is brought online and becomes more decentralized. Implications are extensive with each retailer asking the following questions:

  1. Can our store associates match the productivity and efficiency of our distribution center employees?
  2. Is the cost of shipment from UPS/FedEx higher or lower with decentralized shipping although shipping may be closer to end customer demand when coming from stores?
  3. As stores allocate selling space and associate time to fulfillment, what are the implications on selling space and payroll?
  4. How do we ensure profitability on orders that require split shipments and thus 2x cost of shipment?
  5. Shrink (inventory loss) rates are much higher at store level. What are the minimums we need to set for products to ensure the fill rate is met?