Modern Materials Handling: Vera Bradley’s multi-channel success

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The handbag and accessories maker’s new DC was designed to handle store replenishment, wholesale distribution and direct-to-consumer sales under one roof.

By Bob Trebilcock, Executive Editor

For years, retailers and their suppliers outsourced distribution activities to third-party logistics (3PL) providers. The argument was that their core competency was in designing, sourcing, merchandising and selling, and not in picking, packing and shipping.

In today’s retail market, where sales can originate from multiple channels, that model is being turned on its head. Brick-and-mortar retailers are selling online, Web retailers are opening retail stores and wholesale distributors are competing in both channels. The best retailers recognize that distribution has to be a core competency. They are bringing distribution back in house, often serving multiple channels under one roof.

Read the article and learn how Vera Bradley implemented a flexible system that includes three multi-level pick modules, a best-of-breed warehouse management system (WMS) and a pick-and-pass order fulfillment solution powered by bar code scanning, and Lightning Pick’s pick-to-light and put-to-light technologies. 


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