Macro, meet micro. As a 25-year industry veteran with a broad industry view, Delton Schafer leveraged his expertise to launch the divisional e-commerce micro-fulfillment center (MFC) in his Rainier Valley Safeway store in Seattle.
Overseeing the integration of essentially two operations in a seamless way, Schafer helped guide a 25% sales increase during the MFC's first quarter of operation. That center now fulfills about 1,300 orders every week on the same site as the brick-and-mortar store that serves its own expansive shopper base in a busy metropolitan market.
To maintain that level of service in dual businesses, Schafer knew that he had to build a strong and cohesive team. Ahead of the opening of the MFC, he partnered with the store’s public affairs team and community organizations to hire and train more than 80 new associates, often leading job fairs at the store. He tapped his store’s grocery department leader to manage the e-comm center, training and mentoring that individual to take on the new role.
Once they were on-boarded, he personally coached the MFC team members on how they each play an important role on the success of the e-commerce venture. Flash forward a few moments and Schafer is known for following up daily with associates on their results, congratulating their successes and coaching them in needed areas.
The physical store continues to perform well under Schafer's three-year tenure as well, delivering more than 40% sales ID growth. His dedication to reducing out of stocks led him to develop a master schedule for the assistant store director and grocery managers to evaluate in-stock conditions and effectively replenish items when needed; ultimately, this led his location to have much lower OOS results than the district average.
He ran a parallel track with the MFC, guiding the e-comm team on how to properly substitute OOS items for a similar item. That effort led to a rate of less than 3% of items ordered that were not fulfilled, the top result across the retail organization.
Schafer's organizational and leadership skills have been honed over the course of more than two decades in the industry, but with recent strong results and high-functioning teams across two facets of his store’s business, he shows that he continues to improve on his own performances. In taking on an MFC while running a physical store, this director shows what’s possible –and perhaps probable – in the omnichannel retail environment.
“Delton has strong communication skills and always make his employees feel like they are an important part of the team.”