The surge in Web-based sales driven by Amazon and others has provided a lift for what for years has been called pool distribution. The term describes a service in which goods from many different shippers are “pooled” and delivered to customers in a local or regional market.
Some industry executives and investment analysts said retailers have no choice but to follow Amazon’s lead in providing consumers with same-day access to both goods and delivery services. And local shippers could reap the benefits.
“Shipping is not the customer’s problem — it’s the retailer’s problem,” said Jamie Nordstrom, executive vice president of the Seattle-based upscale department store chain that bears his family name, speaking at a conference for online retailers in September. “When same-day delivery moves widespread through Amazon, all other retailers will be expected to provide the same.”
He noted that Nordstrom introduced free shipping and returns last year. “Customers love free,” he said.