As e-commerce continues to be the preferred method of holiday shopping this year, due mostly to the pandemic, Walmart has come up with a unique solution to handling the increase in demand.
The company is using space in 42 of its regional distribution centers (RDCs) to create “pop-up" e-commerce distribution centers (eDCs).
The usual procedure is for the RDCs to ship to stores, but the company has enhanced its existing supply chain so that they can also fulfill online orders.
“Standing up the eDCs enables us to move more product to customers quickly, using the expertise of our supply chain and technology associates — without the delay of building new facilities,” explains Greg Smith, EVP, supply chain, Walmart U.S., in an announcement last month.
The company said the flexibility of the pop-up models will help it deal with peak demand situations.
Demand will be especially high according to a prediction from the National Retail Federation, which projects that holiday sales during November and December will increase between 3.6% and 5.2% over 2019 to a total between $755.3 billion and $766.7 billion.
The numbers compare with a 4% increase to $729.1 billion last year and an average holiday sales increase of 3.5% over the past five years.