American Eagle Outfitters embraces fulfillment at the edge

Brick-and-mortar retailers, regardless of their size, are under more pressure than ever. That sentence has led off so many articles that it’s practically a cliché. At the same time, there’s usually some underlying truth to clichés. It’s true that retailers have been Amazoned. Thanks to Amazon, we all expect limitless product selection. Thanks to Prime, our expectation is that orders will be delivered in two days at the least, more than likely in one day, with same day around the corner. All this and at no cost to the buyer. Keeping up with Amazon is not just stretching the little guy, it’s even stretching the capabilities of retail giants like Walmart and Target. And they have something the smaller retailers do not: Scale in all aspects of their business. They can leverage 1,000s of stores and hundreds of distribution centers. They have deep financial pockets—that’s the reason Target was able to acquire Shipt and technology from Deliv to beef up its last-mile delivery chops. 

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