Stores offer t-shirt and hoodie deliveries in a hurry

Discussion
Mar 23, 2016

You may never need a new t-shirt or a hoodie in an hour’s time but, if you do, American Apparel wants you to know it’s there with you. On Monday, the manufacturer and retailer of fashion basics announced it is partnering with Postmastes to offer on-demand delivery to customers in markets across the U.S.

The new service will be available from 79 American Apparel stores in 31 metropolitan area markets across the country. Consumers will be able to order from over 50 core items for men and women offered on an American Apparel “storefront” within the Postmates’ app. Products will be delivered to consumers within an hour’s time with an initial delivery fee of $1.99.

“American Apparel is improving its omnichannel consumer experience via Postmates by becoming their first major fashion retailer to offer ‘on-demand basics’,” said Thoryn Stephens, American Apparel’s chief digital officer, in a statement. “You’ll be able to receive hoodies, t-shirts, socks and more within a 60-minute delivery window — it’s great for traveling or last-minute needs. For the second phase we’re integrating the experience with RFID for real-time inventory availability.”

According to a company press release, Postmates will have access to real-time inventory from American Apparel enabling the app to display current availability of merchandise. Participating locations will have access to the Postmates Order Android merchant app, which will display orders directly on a POS terminal in the store. American Apparel associates will pull the order together to hand over to Postmates drivers.

Before making its national rollout announcement, American Apparel tested the service with Postmates in major cities, including New York and San Francisco. According to the company, the tests achieved positive results with limited marketing support.

According to TechCrunch, Postmates works with partners such as Etsy and Starbucks that use its API within their own apps. Others, such as American Apparel, Chipotle, 7-Eleven and Walgreens, use a storefront on Postmates’ app.

Sources: Postmates, American Apparel

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Are speedier deliveries become an expected thing in metro area markets? What are your thoughts on American Apparel’s planned use of RFID in its new delivery program with Postmates? What types of changes do you think American Apparel will need to make in stores to execute the delivery program as expected?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"Good for American Apparel. The brand needed a dose of good news, and while most people will never need one-hour delivery, it makes for positive PR."
"Living in downtown San Diego I have come to expect to get same-day delivery on almost anything I need or want. I think it’s a great way for American Apparel to differentiate themselves."
"Sure, speedier deliveries are becoming expected in metros. American Apparel will have to have a plan for dealing with customers who are angry that something arrived in 70 minutes, not 60. Glad I live in Vermont."

Join the Discussion!

9 Comments on "Stores offer t-shirt and hoodie deliveries in a hurry"


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Max Goldberg
Guest
6 years 1 month ago

Good for American Apparel. The brand needed a dose of good news, and while most people will never need one-hour delivery, it makes for positive PR. American Apparel will need to make sure the the products it features are in-stock, in all sizes, or it will take a PR windfall and turn it into a nightmare. RFID and close coordination with Postmates should accomplish this.

Patricia Vekich Waldron
Guest
Patricia Vekich Waldron
6 years 1 month ago

Living in downtown San Diego I have come to expect to get same-day delivery on almost anything I need or want. I think it’s a great way for American Apparel to differentiate themselves. The partnership with Postmates for the last mile is smart. The question is whether American Apparel can ensure they have the right quantity, color, size and style for any point in time available to satisfy demand. If not, they are taking a huge risk in setting expectations that will not be met!

Gene Detroyer
Guest
6 years 1 month ago

Every advancement in delivery will eventually set a new standard (expectation). Today it is t-shirts at American Apparel, tomorrow it will be just about anything.

Warren Thayer
Guest
6 years 1 month ago

Sure, speedier deliveries are becoming expected in metros. American Apparel will have to have a plan for dealing with customers who are angry that something arrived in 70 minutes, not 60. Glad I live in Vermont.

Peter J. Charness
Guest
6 years 1 month ago

It’s a level set against Amazon. While you have to wonder how many people really need stuff that fast, as comments have noted, it’s becoming the new normal. When you think about it Amazon has massive DCs in a fair number of locations, while retailers have many, many more stores conveniently located close to the customer. I think retailers need to fundamentally rethink their real estate investments and reconsider what a “store” really is, and how to build a successful “fulfillment chain” of DCs, city depots and stores in a way that levels the playing field with Amazon. It’s not too hard to see how Amazon will continue to pick away at the profit margin of retailers who sell comparable product through fulfillment logistics. On the other hand Amazon will never be as close to the customer with store coverage.

Lee Kent
Guest
6 years 1 month ago

First off, I can’t believe they are doing this at all without RFID.

There are always occasions when an item is needed right away and it is great that the service is available. On the other hand, does it have to be attached to the retailer? No! My husband drives sometimes for Lyft and he has had several occasions where he has been asked to pick something up and deliver it. Can he do it for $1.99? Nope, but neither can the retailer.

Furthermore, if the retailer partnered with say Uber or Lyft to handle these types of deliveries, the drivers still couldn’t or wouldn’t (they have the option to turn down rides) do it for that rate. There would have to be some type of guarantee that the driver would have multiple packages in a very tight delivery zone to make it work.

Bottom line, this needs to be well thought out. But that’s just my 2 cents.

Kai Clarke
Guest
6 years 1 month ago

This level of service is great … if you need it. Clearly, combining strengths like American Apparel and Postmates have done is a smart business decision and gives them a great position. However, is there much need/demand for this? This sounds more like a solution looking for a problem, rather than a common issue that appeals to the mass market.

Craig Sundstrom
Guest
6 years 1 month ago

In answer to the QOD: yes, I think there’s (always) increased demand for “faster” or “better” when people don’t actually have to pay for it. Would there be really be demand for a “T-shirt-in-an-hour” if people had to pay the actual $23 (or whatever) it costs for that delivery, rather than the token fee charged? I doubt it.

As for American Apparel, I think their comeback effort is a few gimmicks short of success.

Arie Shpanya
Guest
6 years 1 month ago

This is the next level of satisfying instant gratification. Prime subscribers are used to delivery within 2 days, Prime Now deliveries are between 1 and 2 hours, and American Apparel is taking the best of Amazon’s offerings at an attractive starting price. Kudos to them. I am sure other retailers will follow in their footsteps if this proves successful.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"Good for American Apparel. The brand needed a dose of good news, and while most people will never need one-hour delivery, it makes for positive PR."
"Living in downtown San Diego I have come to expect to get same-day delivery on almost anything I need or want. I think it’s a great way for American Apparel to differentiate themselves."
"Sure, speedier deliveries are becoming expected in metros. American Apparel will have to have a plan for dealing with customers who are angry that something arrived in 70 minutes, not 60. Glad I live in Vermont."

Take Our Instant Poll

Do you agree or disagree that there is a growing demand for speedier deliveries (hours, not days) in the U.S.?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...