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For CompUSA, the collaboration strategy plays directly into the new and improved CompUSA model of “you buy it today, it ships today.” Perrin says cross-channel collaboration minimizes back-orders and lost sales, and eliminates shipping costs and the need to return products no longer planned for store sales to the distribution center. It also improves the opportunity to sell down products before deep discounts are necessary to relieve inventory from stores.
True bottom line results indicate e-commerce and in-store collaboration boosts sales and reduces inventory carrying costs-economies no multichannel retailers can afford to ignore. What used to be a well-guarded advantage leveraged by a relatively small number of retailers is starting to hit the retail mainstream. It’s time for positive headlines.
Louisa Rupp is director of strategic marketing at VendorNet. She can be reached at email@example.com.