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Supply chain management practices in small retailers

James W. Hamister (Department of Information Systems & Operations Management, Raj Soin College of Business, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio, USA)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Article publication date: 4 May 2012




The aim of this research is to investigate the adoption and implementation of SCM practices by small retail firms. Past research has established the benefits of SCM practices on performance of large enterprises, but the impact of these practices on small retailers merits attention due to the importance of this sector in the economy and organizational difference due to scale.


A survey instrument based on existing scales is developed and distributed to small retailers in Upstate New York. A total of 79 valid responses were received. A theoretical model is developed relating implementation of supply chain management practices to performance at both retail and supplier levels. The theoretical model was tested using partial least squares (PLS) methods.


This research suggests that supply chain management practices are positively related to performance at both the retail and suppler levels. Moderate implementation levels of supply chain management practices are reported among the small retailers studied.

Research limitations/implications

This research employed perceptual performance measures. Future studies can expand on this research by examining objective data on performance metrics at both the retail and supplier level to better quantify costs and benefits of supply chain management in this context.


This research is the first paper to attempt to empirically test supply chain management practices among small retailers, thus generalizing our understanding of the supply chain management practices in a context not previously studied. Implications for suppliers and retailers are discussed.



Hamister, J.W. (2012), "Supply chain management practices in small retailers", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 40 No. 6, pp. 427-450.



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Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited