Did you recognise the reference to the iconic 90s TV quiz show Blockbuster in the headline? Well, if this week’s eDelivery newsletter were an episode of Stephen Fry’s panel quiz show, QI, this week’s letter would undoubtedly be P.
In our case it’s P for partnerships, P for planning and P for peak.
With a bit more than 200 days to go before Black Friday dawns, there are big considerations and there are quick wins, both discussed here.
One retailer that might fare better than average is Argos, which in its latest set of financial results (for the year ending 28 Feb) announced it had completed its hub-and-spoke distribution model transformation plan. It also has 60 of its digital stores open now, and is gearing itself up for an improved home delivery service – thanks to the hub-and-spoke model, which will allow it to be more fleet of foot with its, er, fleet.
The oft discussed last mile isn’t going anywhere, either literally and figuratively. But its propensity to become a significant bottleneck is likely to be one of the things that could help push the industry to its absolute limits come this year’s peak.
Better communications between retailers and carriers, and better use of partnerships could unlock some of the hidden capacity, and reduce some of the pressure. We hear from Neil Ashworth of Collect+ and Simon Veale of GFS.
One example of partnering in order to reach new customers is that between Centiro and JDA Software. Another is that between CML and ReBound, which is geared more tactically around providing retailers with a better returns solution.
Tobias Hartmann, VP at eBay Enterprise, has written for eDelivery on the topic of ‘Christmas in spring’ and talks about the need to plan for every eventuality and make the best possible use of your networks.
We also have an Industry Viewpoint column from Link51’s MD John Halliday on the subject of grabbing the etail tiger by the tail, and the challenges – and opportunities – that have arisen as a result of the retailing revolution presaged by the internet.
And finally, we have an item on two of the bigger names in the industry supporting charities. Yodel distributed 250,000 books as part of World Book Night. Volunteers from FedEx helped packed and sorted more than 600 boxes of toys in support of the children’s charity KidsOut.
Finally, if you haven’t already, why not subscribe to eDelivery and get our weekly newsletter summarising the main stories we’ve covered – you’ll find details on that here.