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The future of retail - Inventory on demand?

  1. Sep 1, 2009 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    While I have been purchasing goods online for a decade and have watched the evolution of the online industry from the beginning, there is a twist to the retail-online war for business that was news to me, at least. According to a person who should know [don't want to get anyone in trouble here] "Walmart Online" is not the same company as your local Walmart store. Many advertised products are only sold online now, with delivery at your nearest store for pickup, free of shipping charges. The online company simply uses the delivery system for the stores. I would imagine that the store then takes a nominal markup on each item sold. When the product is available for pickup, I get an email notificaiton.

    This came to my attention when I tried to purchase a certain product after doing my typical online search. In the past, while a company like Walmart might not always have stock on a certain item, if it was advertised online, it normally was stocked at most major outlets.

    Note that if I want the item deliverd to my home, I pay for shipping

    This seems to me to be an entirely new concept in retail marketing - a hybrid of online sales with classic storefront delivery. The only thing that I can think of that was similar to this systems is the old Sears catalog-sales stores. But those stores were often delivery points only that carried no inventory at all.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2009
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  3. Sep 1, 2009 #2

    Pengwuino

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    Amazon.com does this as well oddly enough. It sells items from OTHER companies on their site as well. Of course, they dont have a local amazon.com store down the street and they actually say the company you're purchasing from.
     
  4. Sep 1, 2009 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    That isn't quite the same though. Amazon is online only. Walmart is effectivly stocking the local stores on a per-order basis.
     
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