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Desperately seeking shelf availability: an examination of the extent, the causes, and the efforts to address retail out‐of‐stocks

Daniel Corsten (Vice Director, Kuehne‐Institute for Logistics, University St Gallen, Switzerland.)
Thomas Gruen (Assistant Professor of Marketing, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA.)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Article publication date: 1 December 2003

10343

Abstract

With all the hype around efficient consumer response (ECR) and the brave new world of technologies, one would believe that retail out‐of‐stocks have gone down over the last ten years. That is wrong. Retailers have been struggling with considerable out‐of‐stocks for decades – with little evidence of improvement. A similar wrong belief is that shoppers are also still unwilling to accept low service levels. In fact, increasingly, consumers switch brands when they do not find the brand they wanted. But retailers must be wary, because the results of our research show that increasingly shoppers switch stores quickly and may never come back. So, who is to blame? The supply chain. And where to tackle it? On the shop floor. Over the past two years, we have conducted a major, worldwide study of the extent, causes, and consumer responses to out‐of‐stocks in the fast‐moving consumer goods industry. In this article, we report these findings and provide insight to solving this chronic industry problem.

Keywords

Citation

Corsten, D. and Gruen, T. (2003), "Desperately seeking shelf availability: an examination of the extent, the causes, and the efforts to address retail out‐of‐stocks", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 31 No. 12, pp. 605-617. https://doi.org/10.1108/09590550310507731

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 2003, MCB UP Limited

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