Scaling Ecommerce: Retailers Invest in New Distribution Centers For Online Orders


Market research firm eMarketer projects ecommerce sales in North America will increase from $431 billion in 2013 to more than $660 billion in 2017. That increase in online sales paired with growing consumer expectations around shipping times is prompting retailers to build sophisticated distribution centers dedicated to fulfilling online orders.

Here’s a list of retailers and distribution partners that are building or renovating facilities dedicated to fulfilling orders from online shoppers. Have an announcement we’ve missed? Leave a note in the comments or email

American Eagle

  • Type: New facility
  • Location: Hazelton, Pa.
  • Size: 600,000+ square feet
  • Budget: $80 Million
  • Hiring: 369 new positions, with an additional 600 part-time positions during peak seasons.
  • Notes: Expected to open in June 2014, the Hazelton facility will double the apparel retailer’s current distribution center (300,000 square feet) in Warrenton, Pa., which the retailer plans to …

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Retailers Could Soon Be Liable for Damages from Data Breaches

“California legislature is voting on a new law that would make retailers liable for damages that customers incur as a result of data breaches, such as the one Target suffered recently. The new law would shift the liability from banks and credit card companies to retailers. Bill Dombrowski, president of the California Retailers Association (CRA) says the bill will be one of the year’s biggest disputes over business-related legislation. The CRA includes nearly every national retail chain, which collectively employ 2.8 million workers in California.” [Source: Business Insider]

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Amazon Adds a “Dash” of Convenience with New Magic Wand

“In the last two months, Amazon has spotlighted two new products that allow shoppers to add items to their shopping list without ever typing anything into a search bar. This isn’t a coincidence. The most recent one is Amazon Dash — a thin, wand-like device, revealed on Friday, that includes both a microphone and a barcode scanner. Speak into it or scan a box of cereal or pack of toilet paper to automatically add that product to your AmazonFresh shopping list. For now, it is available only on a trial basis to Amazon customers in San Francisco and Los Angeles who pay for Amazon’s new Prime Fresh membership, which includes grocery delivery.” [Source: Recode]

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How to FedEx a Panda

For the past five years, Dave Lange has handled all FedEx shipments that require a chartered plane, coordinating deliveries of the big, weird, and extra important. His techniques put your stamps and envelopes to shame.

Popular Science: When the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago renovated in 2008, you flew its seven whales to a host aquarium. So how does a whale travel?

Lange: Each one is in a metal container, which has a sling, where the whale sits. The box isn’t completely filled with water; there’s just enough to keep the animal moist.

PS: If you’re moving many animals together on a plane, how do you decide where to put each one?

[Continue reading at Popular Science]

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