There’s a great deal of buzz about omnichannel fulfillment today. Many retailers say fulfilling online orders from stores close to shoppers saves them money on shipping fees and gets products to shoppers more quickly than shipping from an ecommerce warehouse.

But for smaller retail chains with more condensed, local customer bases and a large group of loyal store shoppers, sometimes fulfilling web orders from physical stores is better as a backup option.

Texas-based athletic and lifestyle apparel and accessories retailer Tyler’s is one small chain actively working to fulfill more orders from its one warehouse instead of its six physical shops, says Justin Dermit, director of ecommerce. The retailer opened its first store in 1978 in Tyler, Texas, under the name Racquet and Jog, selling running shoes and stringing tennis racquets in the local community. It now operates six Texas-based stores and an ecommerce site.

While online sales are up significantly, thanks in part to a boost from COVID-19, they still only account for about…

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