PSFK’s professional-grade research platform, featuring access to our full-report library and on-demand research services.Take me to PSFK iQ
Especially when the lion’s share of that competition is spurred by mega-platform industry movers like Amazon. That’s why the retailer is building out its own logistics platform and democratizing access to high-performing supply chain solutions
To keep pace with consumers' expectations around convenience and efficiently handle the volume of online orders being placed across a host of channels, retailers are redesigning both the warehouse and their back-end capabilities for an increasingly omnichannel age. Cutting edge technology coupled with AI and machine learning is being layered into fulfillment and operational environments to support workers, helping unlock further value by boosting efficiencies.
Still, with baked-in technological advantages, legacy and pure play ecommerce retailers are driving the conversation around rapid delivery and fulfillment standards. For the many retailers who lack the necessary operational network to meet these expectations, a frustrating online or delivery experience has become a point of friction for shoppers, leading to cart abandonment and lost loyalty and spend.
That’s why, over the past year and a half, American Eagle successfully deployed hundreds of millions of dollars to acquire two leading-edge supply chain businesses, combining them into a single logistics and fulfillment platform designed specifically for the ultimate “frenemy-peer network” of other small- to mid-size retailers feeling the strain of greater consumer expectation around delivery solutions and availability on their operational capabilities. Called Quiet Platforms, the national network of facilities offers end-to-end, fully managed supply chain services to mid-sized retailers and other partner-clients hoping to effectively compete, if not at-scale then at least on-par, with leading enterprise retailers on cost of fulfillment and delivery speed.
The interoperable suite of solutions allow partner retailers to quickly update and enhance their fulfillment capabilities and provide best-in-class experiences to their customers. The add-on services include features like intelligent inventory management, optimized transportation including track and trace, robotic picking, parcel consolidation, and more innovative solutions focused on giving retailers the ability to create faster, more efficient, and even more sustainable supply chains. Powered by an intelligent and unified orchestration layer, Quiet Platform’s plug-and-play, open-sharing platform is already being used by leading brands like Peloton, Steve Madden, Li & Fung, and many others to optimize inventory and increase fulfillment efficiency.
Most recently, the American Eagle-owned solutions and logistics provider welcomed a new connected multifunctional fulfillment facility in Atlanta. Launched in under two months and coming online this past June 2022, the new facility demonstrates the speed at which Quiet Platforms can develop new sites in order to meet the dynamic needs of its retail and brand partners. The just-opened, state-of-the-art facility boasts innovative technologies including smart containerization and flexible sortation capabilities for carrier and courier consolidation during order shipment, as well as robotic-powered operations across key touchpoints. Atlanta ranks sixth among the fastest-growing U.S. metro areas, and is now the eighth-most populous metro area in the country, making the fulfillment warehouse a strategically important activation for Quiet Platforms’ national network.
This article originally appeared in the PSFK iQ report, Retail Transformation Through Innovation.