Following in the footsteps of American Eagle Outfitters, Gap Inc. has launched its own fulfillment services platform, making the high-tech, automated network it has invested billions in available for other retailers to take advantage of as the in-house/outsourced services trend continues.
GPS Platform Services encompasses a full suite of capabilities, including short-term storage, B2B and DTC fulfillment, returns processing and post-purchase experience. Gap says it offers two-day and next-day shipping and can handle cross-border ecommerce on behalf of clients, while providing self-service API hooks into platforms including Amazon and Shopify.
The company touts its capacity, omnichannel expertise and high level of automation and robotics in pitching the new offering to the retail world. “We are not just another 3PL,” an animated presentation states.
“For the first time, we are making Gap Inc.’s fast, flexible and highly automated logistics and fulfillment network available to brands of all sizes through GPS Platform Services,” said Kevin Kuntz, Senior Vice President of Global Logistics Fulfillment at Gap Inc. in a LinkedIn post. “Reach out if you are ready to scale your operations and grow your brand.”
While Gap claims in the presentation it’s the second-largest online seller of apparel in the U.S., Statista ranks Macy’s ($5.38 billion in 2021) in that spot, behind Amazon ($5.6 billion) and ahead of Walmart ($5.31 billion).
This week, Macy’s reported a 5% drop in ecommerce sales but said it’s up 19% from pre-pandemic levels, representing 30% of revenue. The company reduced its 2022 outlook amid a challenged environment for apparel and ubiquitous markdowns, except at the high end, where Bloomingdale’s and Blue Mercury both outperformed.
Gap says its 13 distribution centers in North America have more than 9 million square feet of space, capable of processing 1 billion units annually. It boasts an order accuracy rate of 99.8% and 99% on time/ready to ship. The company just opened an 850,000-square-foot automated fulfillment center in Texas that can handle 1 million units per day.
American Eagle’s Quiet Platforms, launched earlier this year and built on its December acquisition of Quiet Logistics for $350 million, earlier this month announced a nationwide delivery network that taps 40 national, regional and local carriers. Separately it announced a date-definite delivery service agreement with DHL eCommerce. Quiet Platform customers include Fanatics, Outdoor Voices, Boll & Branch and Mack Weldon.
Walmart, meanwhile, continues to expand its GoLocal crowdsourced delivery service offered to other retailers, saying it has surpassed 1 million orders fulfilled since its inception a year ago. It expects to have 5,000 pickup locations nationwide by year’s end.