It’s no surprise that the holidays are the biggest time for sales at Toys”R”Us, where AWESOME Advisor and 2015 recipient of the AWESOME Legendary Leadership (ALL) Award Debbie Lentz is SVP and Chief Supply Chain Officer. But some of the surprises that came up last year have caused Debbie to say, “We’ve spent the year preparing and now it’s time to execute.”
According to a recent article by Paul Ziobro in The Wall Street Journal titled “Retailers Revamp Strategy to Handle Holiday Season Demand,” in which Debbie and others are quoted, online sales soared last year at a rate several times greater than predicted and beyond what many retailers’ e-commerce fulfillment centers could handle. This year, Toys”R”Us and others have stocked their stores with extra merchandise so online orders can be sent from there, too. The goal is to prevent the situation last year that forced a reduction in online deals in what the article calls “sales prevention.”
According to the article, at one Toys”R”Us store, by several weeks before Black Friday, “every aisle was topped with mountains of extra merchandise.” Debbie adds, “We were using every nook and cranny.”
Supply chain professionals are implementing proactive strategies to get ahead of this ongoing retail challenge: leveraging a brick-and-mortar footprint to ensure inventory availability and maximize online sales.