Gap launches third-party supply chain platform

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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gap supply chain
Gap Inc. is becoming a supply chain services provider.

Gap Inc. is making its supply chain expertise available to other companies – for a price.

The specialty apparel retailer is taking a major step forward in what appears to be a gradual evolution into a tech platform by introducing a new offering called GPS Platform Services by Gap Inc. The hosted service provides supply chain solutions that Gap says meet the needs of direct-to-consumer and business-to-business companies across the supply chain.

[Read more: Meet the newest retail tech platform contender – Gap Inc.]

According to Gap, the platform offers logistics & fulfillment capacity and scale to retailers looking to grow their brand and expand their operations. Specific advertised logistics and fulfillment capabilities include:

  • Scalable, high-volume, automated e-commerce fulfillment​.
  • Omnichannel capabilities for B2B wholesale and retail stores distribution
  • Self-service portal with API integrations to Shopify, Amazon, and other major commerce platforms.
  • Nationwide distribution network.
  • Short-term storage with flexible terms.
  • Pallet and case in and out cross-docking services.
  • Support for outbound ground freight.
  • Next-day and two-day parcel shipping.
  • Automated shipping service selection.
  • International shipping.
  • Returns initiation and return shipping labels.
  • Returns processing at Gap fulfillment centers.
  • Integration with post-purchase experience platforms.
  • 13 distribution centers in North America with more than 9 million square feet of space.
  • “Dock to stock” in less than 24 hours.
  • Release to load by 3 p.m. for same-day outbound pick-up

Gap says that it processes 1 billion units annually with a logistics workforce of over 9,000 associates that scales with seasonal demand. The retailer also claims an order accuracy rate of 99.8% and 99% on time ready to ship performance. 

With this new service launch, Gap is building on other efforts to boost its presence in the supply chain space in the past year. These include the acquisition of Context-Based 4 Casting Ltd. (CB4), a New York- and Tel Aviv-based retail artificial intelligence and machine learning platform. The start-up provides technology that is intended to increase sales and improve customer experience through predictive analytics and demand sensing.

CB4’s technology has been implemented by retailers including Levi’s, Urban Outfitters, Lidl, and Kum & Go. This acquisition initially put Gap in the position of providing technology to fellow retailers, much as Amazon does by licensing its “Just Walk Out” autonomous checkout system to other retailers.

The specialty apparel retailer also focused a $100 million-plus investment in fulfillment centers in Phoenix, and Gallatin, Tenn. on increasing speed, flexibility and efficiency. The expansions at the company’s 1.4-million-sq.-ft. facility in Gallatin and its 400,000-sq.-ft. facility in Phoenix now enables online order fulfillment for more of its brands.

Earlier in 2021, Gap announced plans to open a new, 850,000-sq.-ft. customer experience center in Longview, Texas to support Old Navy’s growing online business. Gap has also been deploying AI solutions and robotic technologies in its fulfillment centers. 

[Read more: CSA Exclusive: Gap Inc. exec talks about retailer’s supply chain transformation]

“GPS Platform Services by Gap Inc. is designed to meet the logistical needs of all types of businesses in the retail space,” Gap said in a post on its corporate website. “We offer scale, capacity (storage, warehousing, packaging, shipping), low cost, and automation to our business partners. For those needing more support, we offer professional customer success services right-sized to your needs to ensure operational success.”