April 8, 2013, 5:18 PM

Sport Chalet kicks off same-day delivery

The retail chain is offering the service from 53 stores across four states.

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Sport Chalet last week became the latest retailer to announce same-day delivery of online orders from its network of stores.

The Los Angeles-based chain, which began testing the same-day delivery service in January, made it available to customers served by the 53 stores Sport Chalet operates across California and in the metropolitan areas of Phoenix, Las Vegas and Salt Lake City, says chairman and CEO Craig Levra. The retailer is managing a network of courier companies that it has developed across its service areas to pick up products from its stores and deliver them to customers. It charges between $25 and $35 per delivery, and delivers to customers within a three-mile radius of one of its stores.

Although such fees are two or three times higher than some of those offered by other retailers, Levra says Sport Chalet designed its service as a “white-glove” program that has received good feedback from customers during its test phase.

“Many of our customers are time-pressed and ready to get on a mountain to ski or catch a cruise ship and go snorkeling,” says chairman and CEO Craig Levra. The white glove service delivers products to a customer’s home or office and provides assistance in ensuring a proper fit if necessary, such as by attaching a customer’s ski boot to a new ski. It also lets shoppers track online the status of their delivery.

The retailer’s new same-day delivery service replaces a less formal program under which Sport Chalet store employees would often personally deliver products to customers who couldn’t make into a store, Levra says. “We’ve been doing this on an informal basis for many years,” he says. “If we got a call at one of our stores from a customer who needed something delivered right away, we would find a way to get it to him.”

In recent months, there has been an increase in the number of same-day delivery programs for online retail orders, including from Wal-Mart Stores Inc., eBay Inc., the U.S. Postal Service, the  London-based courier network service Shutl and Google Inc. Amazon.com Inc. launched in 2009 a same-day delivery service it now offers in 10 cities.

Amazon is No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500; Walmart.com is No. 4. The U.S.P.S. is ranked third among shipping carriers in Internet Retailer’s Leading Vendors to the Top 1000 E-Retailers guide.

Peter Taylor, director of business development and e-commerce at Sport Chalet, will speak at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2013 in June in the session “Ten worry-free, time-friendly, guaranteed-to-sizzle tactics for creating content that sells.”

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