Some holiday shoppers are procrastinating and waiting until just days before Christmas to make their gift purchases. Retailers are preparing for this, with some staying open for 24 hours in the final days before the holiday. In this mad rush for last-minute purchases, suppliers need to make sure they have the inventory to keep fully stocked shelves at these stores, something automated data collection software could make a lot easier.
Many Macy's stores, for example, will be staying open throughout the weekend before Christmas, some opening as early as 7 a.m. on December 21 and staying open until December 23 at midnight, the Orlando Sentinel reported. Toys "R" Us will also remain open throughout the weekend and into Christmas Eve. Another major retailer, Kohl's, is only closing between midnight and 6 a.m.
These long hours may result in an increase in sales and additional revenue for these retailers, but it could also prove to be a headache if an inventory management system is not in place at distribution centers and warehouses. Barcode tracking software and supply chain software can help retail industry supply chain stakeholders keep track of what products they have at any moment and which ones are on their way.
Some companies are offering free expedited shipping in the last days before Christmas. About 43 percent of companies recently surveyed by Shop.org said they plan to take this approach to encourage consumers to make purchases. These stores, including Saks Fifth Avenue and Talbots, are guaranteeing customers will receive their gifts before the holiday - another example of how inventory management tools will prove vital to packing and shipping items to ensure quick delivery and happy customers.
Business Time reported many of the sales this year, as well as the long store hours and shipping deals, are repeats from last holiday season. And the consumers who do wait until the last minute may have the best shopping plan, as they typically see up to 40 percent off products and free shipping - offers that are only issued in the final days of the shopping season to encourage purchases.
This will likely be the case next year as well. The Orlando Sentinel said retailers could be sending out packages a day later than this year, putting even more pressure on the shipping operations to deliver products fast. Inventory management tools are making this possible, the article stated.