The concept of worldwide inventory, where the web is searched for products and services across different stores and different countries is coming. So is the concept of worldwide pricing. Need a knee replacement for under US$11,000. There’s a doc for that. Anyway, Norstrom’s is taking a step in this direction by allowing shoppers to access inventory from all of its 115 stores. “That little blue cocktail dress you wanted to buy for the party Tuesday is out of stock? It’s available in your size in our Atlanta store and can be sent to your office just in time. Don’t forget to bring a steamer to the office.”
One would think that this service already existed, especially with all the talk about store supply chain management software, but it’s not that common. Nordstrom has found that same store sales are way up since implementing this web-based inventory program. Turns — the rate at which inventory moves — are down, higher spending shoppers are using the stores and because the inventory is moving there’s less need for “sale” pricing which keeps margins up. Nordstrom had to hire a few more people in their shipping dept. but that cost was offset by the incremental sales. Granted, this is s microcosm of worldwide inventory and worldwide pricing, but we have to start somewhere. Peace!