Platypus stores kick off Accent Group’s push for speed

Platypus-Shoes-2Twelve Platypus stores in Sydney and Melbourne have become the first bricks-and-mortar locations in parent company Accent Group’s 300-plus-store network to offer same-day delivery.

Platypus customers who place their order online before 1pm on weekdays can now receive their order on the same day for $14. Next-day delivery is available for the same price on orders placed between 3pm and midnight. Orders are fulfilled from store inventory to facilitate the faster delivery times.

The offering is part of Accent Group’s broader push to connect bricks-and-mortar and online stores in recent months, including click-and-collect and ship-from store, which was rolled out across the network six months ago.

The footwear company, which owns the Platypus, HypeDC, Skechers and The Athlete’s Foot among other brands, plans to roll out same-day and next-day delivery across all eligible Platypus stores in the coming weeks. It will extend the offering to HypeDC stores, followed by Skechers and The Athlete’s Foot.

This reflects the growing consumer demand for instant gratification, according to Accent Group chief digital officer Mark Teperson.

“We’re really just providing a service that our customers are asking us for,” he told Inside Retail.

Just 10 days after going live in the 12 Platypus locations, Teperson said same-day delivery already accounts for 3 per cent of total orders. He expects this to climb to 5 per cent within a year and reach 10 per cent of order volumes within two years.

As more retailers look to leverage their instore inventory to facilitate faster delivery, many have realised a need for more accurate inventory information and smarter allocation systems to ensure they don’t deplete stock for instore customers.

Teperson said Accent Group has been testing its same-day delivery offering for some time to ensure it doesn’t run into any roadblocks.

“We tested those things to ensure the inventory accuracy levels are as we expect them to be – and they have been so far – and to ensure our freight provider can fulfil on that service propositoin – and they have been able to so far,” he said.

“The way we’ve been deploying all this is to test, evaluate, make adjustments and roll out. That’s been a very successful formula.”

Indeed, Teperson said the company plans to turn its same-day delivery service into a three-hour delivery service, once it has all the kinks worked out.

“Obviously, as these kinds of innovations grow, they change the [instore] retail cadence. The more product you distribute from your stores, it’s going to create new opportunities and challenges,” he said.

For instance, as retail stores become fulfilment hubs, they may need to change their store design to accommodate packing and pickup stations. Teperson said Accent Group already made some of these adjustments when it launched click-and-collect.

“We’ve now installed click-and-collect booths behind the counter in the new Platypus fitout in Bondi Junctoin. That’s part of the fitout now,” he said.

“Certainly, as we refine [same-day delivery] into new stores, we’re making some changes to  help the efficiency piece, but we haven’t had any issues with the rollout until now, which is great.”

This story originally appeared on sister-site Internet Retailing

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