The retailer said it’s leveraging more than 50 years of “operational expertise, technical and digital capabilities and customer insight” to offer its services to direct-to-consumer and business-to-business companies. The new division, which was first reported by Supply Chain Dive, marks the first time the retailer is opening up its logistics back-end to brands outside its own portfolio.
“Very excited to share that we have launched our new platform services business to help retail brands grow and scale,” head of GPS Platform Services Alexis Hui said last week in a LinkedIn post.
Any announcements of GPS have largely come from company executives touting the division’s services to their professional networks and prospective customers online.
“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,” Kevin Kuntz, Gap head of supply chain, said to his LinkedIn network last week.
GPS Platform services include e-commerce fulfillment, integration with Shopify and Amazon among other commerce platforms, warehouse storage, packaging, reverse logistics and next- or two-day shipping.
The company’s distribution network is comprised of 13 facilities totaling more than 9 million square feet and a workforce of more than 9,000.
Gap Inc. last week bowed an 850,000-square-foot distribution center in Longview, Texas. The distribution center adds about 1 million more units processed daily to the retail company’s overall processing capacity across its network of centers. Gap had also expanded its distribution center in Fishkill, N.Y. in the summer with a big boost in automation at the facility.
The company said its distribution centers, which it calls its Customer Experience Centers, process more than 1 billion units each year and tout a 99 percent on-time, ready-to-ship rate.
GPS and Gap now join a small, but growing, number of retailers that are looking to not only gain greater control of their supply chains, but offer those services to others in a bid to gain further scale.
American Eagle Outfitters most notably jumped into the logistics space via last year’s acquisitions of AirTerra and Quiet Logistics, now called Quiet 3PF. The company’s onboarded 14 brands to Quiet Platforms with American Eagle, Aerie, Outdoor Voices, Birdies, Baggu, Steve Madden and Saks Off Fifth among the customers it counts.
Quiet’s real estate network gives it a presence in 10 markets. However, that’s expected to more than double to 22 by mid-June of next year, American Eagle executive vice president and chief supply chain officer Shekar Natarajan told Sourcing Journal last week.
“Our pipeline is the strongest it has ever been in the history of Quiet,” Natarajan said. “So, obviously we are moving in the right direction. We are excited about it. We are in a hurry to go build this scale because scale is what’s needed to get this thing to be really efficient as a network.”
Quiet’s successes thus far imply an appetite for logistics services from a company that understands shippers because it is one, in addition to offering parent American Eagle a growing revenue stream.
Amazon is another retailer with its own logistics and fulfillment footprint that services brands beyond just its own under Amazon Logistics.
There’s also Walmart’s GoLocal last-mile delivery service, which the retailer launched last August. Home goods retailer Wayfair also operates an in-house logistics arm, called CastleGate Logistics. However, that currently only services Wayfair orders.