In the Monday before Thanksgiving, Kevin Kuntz, the head of supply chain for Gap Inc., was in his office at the specialty retailer’s distribution center in Gallatin, Tenn. Asked how things were shaping up for Black Friday, Kuntz said inventory was flowing through the network just as it should. His team was ready to fill online orders and replenish as needed.
After two crazy years, he said: “It feels like a normal peak season.”
One big reason for Kuntz’s confidence, and the future of Gap Inc.’s fulfillment strategy, is a new facility that opened last summer in Longview, Texas. At 800,000 square feet, it is the company’s sixth facility dedicated to e-fulfillment in the United States, designed from the ground up to service Old Navy’s online customers in the Southwest.
The facility represents Gap Inc.’s best thinking about e-fulfillment. While the design, automation and systems are similar to Gap Inc.’s other e-fulfillment centers, when it is up to speed, the new facility will get the same amount of throughput in 800,000 square feet—about 1 million units per day—as its Ohio facility does with 1.2 million square feet. It will also be an important node in GPS Platform Services by Gap Inc., the retailer’s new fulfillment offering for other retailers.