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Retail Solutions: Fixture Rollouts

In an increasingly competitive market, retailers must respond to a range of challenges including consumer demand, seasonal changes and marketing initiatives. This necessitates a flexible and uniquely tailored supply chain that can quickly adapt to market trends and support corporate initiatives such as rollouts and rebranding. Expeditors is a trusted advisor to top tier retailers across the globe.

Here is one example of how we partnered with a customer to tailor a solution:

The Project:

Expeditors was approached by a retail customer as they launched a nationwide project to remodel their aging department stores. The primary goal of the project was to increase market share by enticing customers back into the store and away from on-line shopping. The updated store design included fixtures that would showcase a "store within a store" model to display product.

The Plan:

The retailer was working with over 20 fixture manufacturers across North America and needed a logistics provider that could coordinate the shipping and delivery of all new fixtures as they were rolled out to 235 U.S. store locations. The timing for this rollout was the most critical element. Any early or late deliveries would cause the customer to incur additional costs. In order to manage large volumes of orders from multiple fixture manufacturers with compressed shipping windows, Expeditors worked diligently to customize a solution. Operationally, this required Expeditors to coordinate route planning and pick up schedules with fixture suppliers. Then, each store delivery was coordinated with the store manager and installation crew to meet the retailers pre-determined installation date. Expeditors coordinated with multiple parties to ensure on-time delivery of material to each store for installation by their contractors.

"Constant communication with the retailer, the fixture manufacturer, the store manager and the installers were key factors contributing to the success of the remodel project."

From a systems perspective, this solution meant providing the customer with daily activity reports which tracked the status of each store’s remodel. This order level visibility gave the retailer updates which were used to measure the construction timeline for each store and gauge how the project was tracking against the initial remodel schedule.

The Process:

The retailer was working within a very constrained schedule. Fixture manufacturers had to commit to specific production dates in order to be selected as a supplier for the retailer. The manufacture to shipping window left no room for delay in the transportation of the fixtures to each store. Expeditors worked with compressed shipping windows, often with as little as 24 hour notice to stage equipment at each manufacturer’s facility. Equipment and drivers were made available any time, day or night and on the weekends as Expeditors too made commitments to the retailer on the transit times to each store.

Once the orders were confirmed on each outbound truck, the Expeditors network of 54 offices across the United States and Puerto Rico communicated part level detail and coordinated the deliveries for each fixture order with each store. This level of communication was necessary in order to coordinate delivery appointments with both the retail Store Manager and the contractors responsible for installing the fixtures.

Expeditors was available around the clock to assist with any unforeseen challenges as they arose. If a delay occurred in the production schedule, the loading schedule at each manufacturer was adjusted without compromising the retailers “need by” date. Constant communication with the retailer, the fixture manufacturer, the store manager and the installers were key factors contributing to the success of the remodel project.

The Results:

During the course of the three month project, Expeditors handled over 7,000 shipments for the customer. By providing around-the-clock customer service, high level visibility, and flexible solutions, Expeditors played a valuable role in this retailers innovative remodel project. Not only did the customer complete their rollout on time, Expeditors was able maintain the integrity of the fixtures on a nationwide basis as well as work within the total project budget.

For more information please visit our Retail & Fashion page or contact your local Expeditors representative.