There’s a trend underfoot among omni-channel retailers that’s rewriting the definition of brick-and-mortar stores. Increasingly, omni-channel retail fulfillment professionals are facilitating the shipment of e-commerce orders not from distribution centers, nor direct from vendors, but instead from their stores. That’s in direct response to speed of fulfillment precedent set by e-commerce juggernaut Amazon.
Amazon, in the meantime, is investing heavily in brick-and-mortar distributions centers in an attempt to maintain a leg up on its omni-channel competition. It’s reported that the company opened an additional 18 fulfillment centers in Q3 2016 alone, part of its strategy to allow more third-party vendors to warehouse and ship goods through the Amazon fulfillment network. Most recently, the company announced plans to build a $90 million, 1.15-million-square-foot fulfillment center in Cecil County, Maryland.