Supply Chain Indicators to Watch This Black Friday

Supply Chain Dive — Black Friday is make-or-break for many retailers, but once the orders are placed and shelves are stocked, the attention tends to turn away from the supply chain.

But this season is a little different. Retailers are trying out new strategies to bring consumers in-store or onto their websites. Companies are partnering to ease delivery, fulfillment and in-store initiatives. Meanwhile, store managers are on the front-lines balancing inventory needs with customer experience.

“Traditionally, Black Friday was a one day thing. Over recent years however, retail has expanded Black Friday into a multi-day event beginning on Thanksgiving night and extending over the weekend into ‘Cyber Monday.’ This continued metamorphosis of Cyber Monday adds additional constraints to deliver product through two different channels, which requires consideration to diversify the planning around stocking models for both Brick and Mortar and e-Commerce outlets,” said Jon Slangerup, President and CEO, American Global Logistics.

“More inventory to fill the two channels means supply chain managers need better planning around the lead time to move products from production to retail. For example, getting minimal quantities of the current trends for a one-day sale has now expanded the size of the cargo to ensure timely transport. And when it comes to cargo, splitting inventory across two channels is steadily consuming the available air cargo capacity in the holiday shipping months. This is both increasing the air cargo rates and playing more to the advantage of organizations with an established channel for e-Commerce fulfillment.”

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