retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Bloomberg reports that Walmart “has relaxed deadlines for some supplier deliveries just months after tightening them, easing pressure on manufacturers who are already grappling with a driver shortage.”

Now, shipments can come in a day early without being subject to fines, which were instituted last year because of Walmart’s concerns about overstocks.

According to the story, “Walmart’s more generous stance comes as suppliers like General Mills Inc. and Hershey Co. grapple with a transportation shortage and new driving regulations that have sent shipping costs spiraling. Walmart handles the shipping for many of its suppliers through its own trucking fleet and other transport providers, and it rolled out the tighter delivery windows in August to reduce out-of-stock items and boost sales. Now, with deliveries at risk of coming late to its 4,700 U.S. stores, Walmart is easing up.”

However, Walmart said that “the early-shipment option wasn’t related to the continuing trucker shortage, as it only applied to some of its distribution centers.”

But, Bloomberg writes, there is no question that “the capacity crunch is taking a toll.”
KC's View: