In 2020, an article in The Wall Street Journal reported on Amazon’s intention to acquire several JC Penney and Sears stores and malls to use as warehousing and distribution outlets.

A piece of news that surprised the world of retail in the United States because, surely, when founding Sears in 1892, Richard Warren Sears and Alvah Curtis Roebuck never imagined that their company would end up operating as a warehouse, after operating almost 290 stores in the northern country to the year 2019.

The idea behind the digital retail giant is to obtain more storage space for merchandise and the possibility of being closer to consumers, thus optimizing delivery times.

Undoubtedly, physical stores are not going to disappear, but they will become places of shopping experience for customers, where the quality of service, payment technologies and online catalogs will be differentiating elements.

In line with this, they will also have a role as distribution centers that facilitate more efficient management of e-commerce, promoting a new step in the administration concept known as “just in time”, coined in Japan in the 1980s, and which essentially refers to supplies reaching the factory or products to customers ‘just in time’. That is, shortly before they are used or marketed and only in the necessary quantities.

The foregoing will have an important impact in logistical terms, since ultimately these stores will tend to become centers of inventory and article databases, which will allow people to visualize what they really want to acquire and, consequently, maintain stocks of the most popular articles. requested.

In this way, the logistics of the future will end up bringing together two essential functions for commerce: the delivery of purchasing trend data, to assess which products are in greatest demand; and contribute to the speed of shipment, considering that shopping centers have strategic locations that bring them closer to customers in a better way than traditional storage points.

This will mean that both retailers and logistics companies will have to adapt to a new reality in which speed of response, market intelligence, technology, product availability and shopping experience will be essential. The challenge will no longer be whether or not we are prepared for these changes, but how quickly we can join this scenario. The survival of many retail and logistics companies will depend on it.