Many discount retailers have been unable to operate during the COVID-19 outbreak because they have a sales structure based solely on retail stores, with limited systems in place to sell online. However, Century 21 Stores, a discount retail chain headquartered in New York City that sells a wide range of high-end products, has been able to adapt and thrive during a time when people are primarily shopping online.

Discount retailers have a unique receiving process consisting of large mixed lots of inventory with minimal receipt SKU/UPC detail. Upon arrival, the inventory is sorted by item, color, and size before it is received. The stock is either distributed to stores or sold online and distributed from the warehouse. 

“The design and flexibility of the Deposco infrastructure allows our DC to quickly and easily pull inventory from stores and sell them on the web while our stores are closed.”
Bill Thayer, Chief Logistics Officer, Century 21 Stores

With the Deposco system, Century 21 Stores has full visibility of their inventory from the warehouse to their stores. During COVID-19, the retail company was able to shift and transfer store inventory to the eCommerce channel so that it could be sold online while physical stores were closed. This shift essentially has enabled their stores to become bulk picking locations to feed high sell-thru items on the web. 
The move to fulfill from stores for online orders has allowed Century 21 Stores to:

  1. Reduce markdowns.
  2. Increase the depth of SKUs on their eCommerce site.
  3. Create new business opportunities.
  4. Increased shipped units (+34% to plan / +84% to last year) during COVID-19.

“Our eCommerce business is ON FIRE. We actually stood up our holiday processing standards/infrastructure during COVID-19 to support the volume…We are KILLING IT! This would not have been possible without Deposco’s support.”
Bill Thayer, Chief Logistics Officer, Century 21 Stores

Helping New York healthcare workers

In addition to all this, Century 21 Stores is helping New York city frontline healthcare workers receive PPE such as face masks. Century 21 Stores has set aside over 20,000 square feet of warehouse space for PPE storage. They are also utilizing their trucks to help deliver the inventory to frontline workers. Deposco is proud to partner with Century 21 Stores and admires their dedication to helping the community during these perilous times.

COVID-19 retail supporting NYC PPC efforts

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Author

Carina Wingel the Marketing Director at Deposco