Bringing Dynamic Ideas to Retail
Sophisticated technology is what makes Fitted Inc. run as a company, yet it’s a simple notion that is at the heart of the game changing firm’s ethos — helping retailers deliver world class customer experiences.
Fitted, which launched in late 2019, has quickly gained ground in run specialty and beyond, helping retailers with turnkey ecommerce solutions, and offering endless aisle inventory options. The Fitted Network boasts more than 380 retail doors and 85 brands.
And Fitted, based in Eagle, Idaho, is now in the midst of rolling out its latest program, called Dynamic Distribution, which also looks to be a game changer, creating a marketplace where retailers and brands can see inventory in stores across the country, including product in casual, comfort, outdoor, run and beyond.
The Dynamic Distribution program adds to the Fitted Network’s capabilities — the new program aims to make it easier for retailers to access and move product directly from other retailers. With the current supply chain inventory crunch that all retailers are facing, it’s a solution that resonates.
How does Dynamic Distribution work? In a secure and “anonymous” system, retailers who are part of the network can log in and view the availability of product from hundreds of retailers, and retailers can be both fulfillers or buyers in the system. Fulfillers get paid immediately. Fitted handles payments behind the scenes, and guarantees two-day delivery. In short, Dynamic Distribution turns retailers’ in-stock inventory into a live, accessible, smart asset that they can choose to liquidate or add to at any time on a case-by-case, day-by-day basis.
Any retailer can join the Fitted Dynamic Distribution Network and immediately become a buyer and/or fulfiller. Regardless of whether they rely on Fitted’s turnkey ecommerce solution, have their own ecommerce solution, or are strictly brick-and-mortar, stores are able to join the Fitted Dynamic Distribution Network and have access to product that they are approved for. (Only previously approved retail partners will have access to a brand’s product within the Fitted Network.)
“The best way to explain it,” says Monte Keleher, co-founder and CEO of Fitted, “is this: As a retailer if I am sold out of something in my store and I check the brand site and see they are sold out, I may still know that somewhere in the country there is a store that has that item in their backroom and they haven’t been able to move it. So we have built a network of retailers, giving them live visibility to an entire network. Now one retailer can see what another retailer on the network has in stock and see what the brand has in stock. This can help in fulfilling an order, but it can also help manage buying patterns.”
In addition to getting product that is currently out of stock and moving over-inventoried product, a key to the program is that retailers can use the technology to assist customers in finding what they want — even if the store doesn’t have it and the brand doesn’t have it. And it benefits brands, too — they can see up to the minute, live, exactly what products they have in the market and where.
“When a customer goes into a small business and finds that even if a product is not in the store, the store can still get it for them within a day or two — if they know they can depend on the local shop, then it keeps money in the community.”
“It’s an opportunity to keep small business relevant,” Keleher says. “When a customer goes into a small business and finds that even if a product is not in the store the store can still get it for them within a day or two — if they know they can depend on the local shop, then it keeps money in the community.”
For Keleher, Fitted’s vision and commitment to retail comes naturally — he’s a retailer himself, having opened A Runner’s Mind 11 years ago in the Bay Area of California — the run specialty shop now has three locations.
Even 10 years ago, Keleher says, he was thinking of ways to make it easier for small, brick-and-mortar businesses to go digital. The challenges of not only running an ecommerce business, but also keeping a website current with images, inventory, et cetera, can be overwhelming and can take away from a shop’s in-store business at the same time. “I wanted to find a solution for my store, but I realized it was a larger problem not just for my store and not just for run specialty, but also for comfort footwear and athletic footwear — really it’s a challenge for any small business,” explains Keleher.
Now, he says, “our job at Fitted is to make sure retailers stay vital to brands and still continue to create connections in the community.”
For more info, visit fittedretail.com.