Target now sources 80% of its online orders from stores, not warehouses, shares the Wall St. Journal.
Stores have less foot traffic (foot traffic to U.S. stores fell about 6.2% on Black Friday ) and more online shopping (online sales reached $7.4 billion on Black Friday, up from $6.2 billion last year), forcing stores to convert 'floor' employees into roles dealing with e-commerce and shipping. "At the Brooklyn store around 80 workers handle internet orders, collecting products from shelves or putting items into boxes in the backroom for delivery," reports the WSJ article. "Target retrained the bulk of its 300,000 year-round U.S. workers over the past year."
The articles goes on to share:
“I think the biggest change is the introduction of online and digital retail into stores,” said Ms. Petzold, the Target executive...On Black Friday morning, at the Target store in Brooklyn, a line of shoppers waited to pick up online orders at the front of the store...A family considered buying a microwave offered at a discount, but one of the younger members of the group chimed in, “No. Let’s order it online.”
From my experience, most indie stores are not retraining their employees nor preparing their business for the digital age. I just spoke to a large store in Austin. The owner was complaining: she didn’t want to manage a website and the staff didn’t want to manage a website. The store's in-store foot traffic is down while its online Bridge Store is profitable with double-digit sales growth. In other words, the trend in their business is just what the Wall St. Journal article reports. Customers are moving online and emptying out stores. Stores that are going digital win. Those that balk and drag their feet—like the one in Austin—have a tough road ahead. Notably, the store owner also said wanted a website solution that required no work. That's like her saying: she wants a retail store that requires no work. She is just delusional about retail and what it takes to survive in this retail environment. To be clear: it takes investing time, money, and people. Just like: a good ol' brick and mortar store.
Read the WSJ article:https://www.wsj.com/articles/retailers-revamp-staffing-as-fewer-shoppers-visit-stores-11575216001
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