Online holiday shopping is taking off, judging by the fulfillment end of the business. Fulfillment personnel at APL Logistics have started working around the clock seven days a week to make sure their retail customers’ packages get delivered in time for Christmas, President Frank diMaria tells Internet Retailer. APL staff didn’t start the around-the-clock routine until the week before Christmas last year, he says.
“Our customers are doing phenomenally well and retail buying on the Internet is starting to hit in general,” diMaria says.
While the economy may not be having a serious effect on Internet shopping, it may be having an effect on the labor pool. “People are more readily available than they were last year,” deMaria says.
DiMaria says he’s optimistic about next year. Already, Jacksonville, FL-based APL, which provides fulfillment for EthnicGrocer.com and SmartBargains.com among others, has received a number of RFPs from retailers who want to expand operations next year. “People are starting to adopt the philosophy that the Internet is a space they need to be in,” he says. “It’s here to stay; it’s not a fad.”