Lulus is putting the $120 million it raised last year to use.
The women’s apparel retailer on Wednesday officially opened a fulfillment center in Palmer Township, Pennsylvania. The facility’s opening is part of the retailer’s push to speed up its delivery times. The retailer aims to have a two- to four-day shipping window in place by year-end as the first step toward its goal of offering two-day free shipping all the time, says CEO Colleen Winter.
“The shipping and delivery bar is set very high,” she says. “People want product as fast as a possible.”
The new 250,000-square-foot fulfillment center—which is 177% larger than its 90,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Chico, California—became operational in early March and currently employs about 200 people, Winter says. However, the fulfillment center is still ramping up; it currently handles about half the volume of its other fulfillment center, as well as processing returns. That volume will increase as the retailer hires “hundreds” more employees, Winter says. The new facility also can hold a significantly higher inventory volumes than the Chico facility.
Lulus’ approach to fulfillment has long reflected its focus on turning a profit, Winter says, noting that it has been profitable every year since it launched in 1996 as a vintage boutique shop.
Lulus has grown roughly 50% every year the last few years with net revenue in the hundreds of millions, Winter says, declining to reveal more specific figures. (Internet Retailer estimates Lulus web sales increased 32.4% in 2018 over 2017, according to Top500Guide.com.)
That growth left the retailer “busting at the seams” at its Chico facility. The situation drove it to expand its capacity, and it chose the Pennsylvania location so it could quickly reach its East Coast and Midwest customers.
Lulus is No. 125 in the forthcoming Internet Retailer 2019 Top 1000.Favorite