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On-demand delivery – not just for perishables anymore


American Apparel Inc. is the latest retailer to offer customers one-hour online delivery.

American Apparel is partnering with on-demand logistics provider Postmates to offer on-demand delivery of more than 50 core basic items in select markets within one hour. The new service will be offered in 79 of the vertical specialty retailer’s stores across 31 metropolitan areas.

Consumers will receive their orders within 60 minutes, instead of the traditional four to five days it takes through standard shipping methods. Both men’s and women’s items will be available.

"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. "You'll be able to receive hoodies, t-shirts, socks and more within a sixty minute delivery window — it's great for traveling or last-minute needs."

American Apparel is also providing Postmates with real-time RFID inventory tracking that allows Postmates to display the most up-to-date merchandise offerings. The participating American Apparel retail stores will have access to the Postmates Order merchant app via an Android tablet, which will display them directly on a terminal in the store. This will allow the American Apparel retail team to retrieve and package the order while the Postmates driver is on the way to pick it up.

With a one-hour guaranteed delivery time, Postmates estimates this process will save 15-20 minutes per order and result in higher order accuracy. The integration is also set up to allow Postmates to invoice American Apparel instead of the driver's credit card at pick-up, which will result in further savings of credit card fees and time.

American Apparel previously tested with Postmates in major cities such as New York and San Francisco with limited marketing and positive results.

While one-hour delivery is most frequently associated with perishable and grocery items, consumers will inevitably expect its availability across all product categories. Consumers expect maximum convenience from their digital shopping experience, and fulfilling orders from local stores within an hour meets that expectation. The use of real-time RFID inventory tracking will have the added bonus of improving internal inventory accuracy and awareness, as well as avoiding selling merchandise that cannot be fulfilled.

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