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Same-day delivery is going to help separate omnichannel players from pretenders

BY Michael Johnsen

Sears Holdings is adding some of its own fare to its mygofer.com offering, an online grocery service that "turbo-charges brick-and-mortar retailer assortments by allowing customers to get items from those stores where and when they want them in new, convenient ways." 

"At mygofer, your list is our command," Sears tells shoppers on its website. "Shop with us for your prescriptions, groceries, beauty products, clothes, shoes, electronics and a whole lot more you might not expect. So whatever’s on your list, we can help you get it — with incredible speed and no hassles. That’s convenience." 

Convenience. That’s what today’s shoppers are looking for in their omnichannel shopping ventures, at least according to a recent PWC report outlining the omnichannel opportunity. According to a PWC survey, the convenience of shopping whenever they want was cited by 28% of shoppers as one of the principle reasons behind shopping online. Following that ability to shop at anytime from anywhere, reasonable pricing, free and fast delivery and the wide range of products from which to choose were the next factors on their list of reasons to shop one online site over another.  

Free and fast delivery for retailers coming out of a strong brick-and-mortar heritage may not be too far a stretch to make. Shutl on Tuesday announced the official launch of its North American operation — a service that will enable omnichannel retailers to offer same-day delivery of online orders in large urban centers like New York, San Francisco and Chicago. 

"The ecommerce industry is about to take another giant step forward with the launch of Shutl’s innovative delivery solution," stated Steven Chien, Shutl VP and general manager North America. "Shutl will be a great partner for those multi-channel retailers looking to better compete with Amazon and provide new ways to delight their customers."

"For those who offer an omnichannel shopping experience to the consumer, the consumer actually spends more with that retailer," observed Lisa Feigen Dugal, PwC’s U.S. retail and consumer sector advisory leader, in an interview for DSN‘s omnichannel cover story in February. "Omnichannel provides the consumer with even more options than they’ve ever had before both for buying and researching," she suggested. 

And now that same-day delivery is more and more looking like a realistic point of differentiation, the race to capture that bigger marketbasket is on.

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Red Cup Living introduces four new reusable, dishwasher-safe cups

BY DSN STAFF

PHOENIX — Red cups aren’t just made for beer pong anymore. Red Cup Living has taken them to a whole new level with reusable designs made specifically for wine, margaritas, cocktails and coffee.

The company was created when the husband-and-wife founders started having "patio parties" to bring the neighborhood together and the two realized there was a need for reusable plastic cups that could help people connect. The four new designs — a 14-oz. wine cup, 15-oz. margarita cup, 12-oz. cocktail cup and 12-oz. stoneware coffee mug — serve as an eco-friendly option that can be used for outdoor events, such as barbecues, tailgating or relaxing on the beach.

"Red Cup Living embodies the very spirit of the red cup — it’s all about grabbing a moment in our busy lives to have fun and connect with others. We use this spirit to inspire family, friends and neighbors to create good times and great memories," said Michael Romley, CEO and founder of Red Cup Living.

Each cup is made with high-quality, break-resistant, double-wall ABS plastic; is BPA- and phthalates-free and FDA-approved; and is dishwasher-safe.

The new products will be showcased at the International Housewares Association show on March 2 to 5 in Chicago at booth S1790, and they join the original lineup that includes an 18-oz. icon cup, 32-oz. icon XL cup, 8-oz. wine cup, 2-oz. shooter cup, magnetic bottle opener, hip apparel, hats and accessories.

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Bloomberg: Publix, Royal Ahold may both make bid for Harris Teeter

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Publix may join Royal Ahold later this month in making a bid for the more than 200 Harris Teeter supermarkets, according to a report published Friday by Bloomberg, citing people with knowledge of the situation. 

Virginia and North Carolina would represent new markets for Publix if the Florida-based grocer acquired Harris Teeter. Publix has already marked North Carolina for expansion with plans to open two stores in the state in 2014. 

Neither Ahold nor Publix has made an offer, but first-round bids aren’t due until mid-March or later, Bloomberg reported. Bloomberg had pegged Harris Teeter’s market value at $2 billion in earlier reports, but noting that grocery companies typically sell at 7x to 10x EBITDA, that valuation today could be as high as $3.1 billion. 

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