By Megan Zielinski, contributing writer
Home Depot will begin introducing “Home Depot Delivers.” to convenience customers with same-day shipping. The new distribution fulfillment centers (DFCs) will dramatically increase the number of orders Home Depot can ship the same day they are received, which significantly expands the number of orders the retailers will be able to deliver within two days or less.
On October 14, the world’s largest home improvement retailer filed a trademark application, declaring the launch of “Home Depot Delivers” to start in a handful of stores, with plans to further expand to all Home Depot locations.
Last year, weeks before Christmas, Home Depot announced plans to develop an effective infrastructure to fulfill same-day shipping to customers in a timely manner. Three fulfillment centers located in California, Atlanta, and Ohio are set to be completed and operating by 2015 — using parcel freight carriers to carry out same-day shipping for online orders placed before 5 p.m. Each fulfillment center varies in size from a million square feet to 1.5 million square feet, holding more than 100,000 Stock Keeping Units — 70,000 more than the average Home Depot store. A total of 2,000 brick-and-mortar Home Depot stores are set to be connected to the network, shipping same-day, straight from store inventory. “We know that our customers are expecting a simple and easy experience shopping online and in our stores and in the intersection between the two,” stated Frank Blake, chairman and CEO of Home Depot during November 2013 third quarter conference call.
“Home Depot Delivers” will especially be appreciated by homeowners and contractors who find themselves in need of extra nails, lumber, sealant, piping and other items that their local Home Depot supplies, yet they are too tied up in the job to make a time-consuming trip to the store. Although contractors make up only 3 percent of Home Depot customers, they account for 35 percent of the retailer’s sales. The new shipping service is a way for Home Depot to build loyalty with contracting customers — inviting new traffic to stores while building stronger relationships with current clients.
With major corporations and retailers providing same-day, speedy shipping options to satisfy customers — same-day shipping is now a service that is becoming expected by online shoppers to be offered by all businesses. Providing same-day shipping at reasonable costs, Home Depot is gaining a competitive edge from rival companies while keeping up with rising customer demands.