Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Image via GSI
You wouldn't think one measly hour would amount to much in the pre-Christmas shopping frenzy, or at least we wouldn't, but we would be wrong. According to the Wall Street Journal, e-tailers have gone to some crazy lengths to extend their pre-Christmas shipping deadlines by just 60 minutes.
Distributors like GSI, a unit of eBay that handles online shipping for 70 brands including Ralph Lauren, Aéropostale, BCBGMaxAzria, and Donna Karan New York, have been working on a strategy since last year to gain that extra time. "Employees are monitored closely for behavior that might slow down order fulfillment," reports the WSJ: their steps are counted to see where shortcuts can be taken, and the company has changed the way it prints labels, in order to save time changing printer cartridges.
The results of all this futuristic efficiency? This year, GSI brands can let shoppers order up until 11 p.m. EST on Dec. 22 and still get their orders by Christmas Eve. That's eight more hours than shoppers get on Amazon, which cuts off Christmas sales at 3 p.m. You're welcome?
· Web Retailers Scrap for Last-Hour Sales [WSJ]
· Wal-Mart, Target Employees Protest Black Friday Hours [Racked]