Carter's Quietly Adds Buy Online, Ship to Store

Carter's, Inc., has quietly rolled out buy online, ship to store capabilities on all of its in-stock online products. According to Michael Dennis Casey,  Chairman & CEO, the children's apparel retailer recently added technology that enables consumers to shop online and pick up their purchases in stores in order to encourage more frequent online shopping and store visits.

"With more of our stores located closer to the consumer, we believe this option for free shipping has become more attractive," said Casey. "Since launching this initiative, about 10% of consumers choose to have the product shipped to our stores. And when they pick up their order, we have seen additional purchases made in the store."

Shoppers can have both and orders shipped to brick-and-mortar locales free of charge. After placing an order they will receive a "ready for pickup" email in 3-7 days.

In another effort to boost online shopping, Carter's launched its rewards program in October last year. Prior to the launch, the company's loyalty program was not available to its e-commerce shoppers. Now, nearly 90% of transactions in stores and online are with customers who have enrolled in the rewards program.

"We're surprised as we dug into what percentage of the transactions, both online and in stores, are tied to the Rewarding Moments program," said Casey. "It's nearly 90%. So it's been a very, very successful program drawing more people back to the stores after their initial purchase."

According to Casey, the Rewarding Moments loyalty program has more than 8 million signups and there has there been an increase in the transaction size with the customers that have recently signed up.

"The consumers' response to this initiative has exceeded our expectations," said Casey. "This program captures important consumer information, which enables us to engage them more effectively. We're seeing higher redemption rates and higher spending upon redemption. We're also seeing higher sales per customer and more frequent visits."

Carter’s net sales were  $639 million for the  second quarter fiscal 2016, a growth of 4%. According to Richard F. Westenberger, CFO & EVP, there are some discrete investments Carter's is making around  IT technology,  infrastructure, and discrete projects to help the retail business to build out its omnichannel capabilities.