Toys 'R' Us girds for online battle on Western front

The multichannel capabilities of Toys “R” Us were enhanced this week when the company announced plans to open a new online fulfillment center near Reno, Nev., that will allow for more timely shipment of West coast customers’ online orders.

The new 300,000-sq.-ft. facility about 10 miles west of Reno in the town of McCarren is scheduled to open this July. That’s good news for the upcoming holiday season as it means Toys “R” Us will be able to fulfill orders placed on Toysrus.com and Babiesrus.com throughout the western U.S within two business days or less via ground shipping via major carriers.

“As more consumers enjoy the simplicity and ease of online shopping, Toys “R” Us continues to invest in e-commerce enhancements to advance customer service and satisfaction across all shopping channels. We believe the McCarran facility will play an important role in further accelerating our company’s online business growth and order fulfillment,” said Jerry Storch, chairman and CEO of Toys “R” Us.

The new facility will be located in a newly constructed warehouse designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification from the United States Green Building Council. According to the company, McCarran online fulfillment center is being constructed to accommodate high-tech innovations in warehouse control technology that will streamline inbound and outbound transport while employing efficient shipping process such as state-of-the-art robotic picking systems to move and complete outbound orders.

Once the distribution center becomes functional it will give the company a total of 12 facilities for store distribution and e-commerce fulfillment.

As is the case with other leading retailers, it’s all about achieving a multichannel vision at Toys “R” Us, which means serving customers however, whenever and wherever they choose to interact with the retailer’s brand. That means having the infrastructure in place to deliver, quite literally, on an ever escalating set of customer expectations.

A similar rational was evident late last month when Kohl’s announced plans for a new East coast online fulfillment center in Edgewood, Md. When the facility becomes operational in 2012 it will complement similar facilities in California and Ohio and round out the company’s ability to serve online customers nationwide in a more efficient and expeditious manner.