Sales this week­end likely to be $34 bil­lion

Shop­ping

Austin American-Statesman - - BUSINESS - Con­tin­ued from B

re­tail­ers are of­fer­ing same-day de­liv­ery in se­lect cities, said Al Sam­bar, a lo­gis­tics and re­tail strate­gist at the con­sult­ing firm Kurt Salmon.

Thanks to im­proved ship­ping lo­gis­tics, many on­line and cat­a­log re­tail­ers es­tab­lished Christ­mas de­liv­ery dead­lines on Thurs­day and Fri­day, with some like Ama­zon ex­tend­ing the dead­line for one-day ship­ping un­til Satur­day.

Shop­pers can ex­pect the trend to con­tinue.

Re­tail­ers are in­creas­ingly fo­cus­ing on speed. Fol­low­ing Ama­zon’s lead, re­tail­ers are ex­per­i­ment­ing with re­gional ware­houses to get the prod­uct closer to cus­tomers, said Raj Ku­mar, a re­tail part­ner at A.T. Kear­ney, a global man­age­ment con­sult­ing firm.

Macy’s, Toys R Us and Wal-Mart are test­ing pi­lot pro­grams in which stores them­selves are uti­lized as ship­ping hubs as re­tail­ers push for next-day and same-day de­liv­ery, he said.

Un­like Ama­zon, L.L. Bean’s world­wide ship­ping hub is cen­tral­ized, about a mile from the cor­po­rate head­quar­ters, and features seem­ingly end­less aisles of flan­nel shirts, L.L. Bean boots, camp­ing sup­plies, and other items, along with a labyrinth of con­vey­ors and chutes that trans­port them, and a fleet of trucks.

The com­pany hired 4,700 sea­sonal work­ers to help with the hol­i­day rush, dou­bling the work­force, and 500 ad­min­is­tra­tive em­ploy­ees are ex­pected to get into the

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