The purpose of this paper is to increase our understanding of the causes for stockouts in retailing.
Mixed methods study, using instore observations, interviews with key informants in consumer goods and retailing, and a field study of stockouts and their causes in multiple wholesale stores over two years.
The results indicate that the causes for stockouts are specific to retailer, store, category and item. Improvements to store operations and the coordination of store delivery and shelf replenishment are most effective in reducing stockouts. Manual audits of stockouts and their causes benefit instore execution and provide the level of detail necessary for management to prioritize areas of improvement.
Future research may investigate the operational and cost impact of incorporating demand seasonality in shelf replenishment that may lead to an improved coordination of replenishment and demand cycles.
A procedure is proposed to help store managers reduce stockouts well below the global average of 8.3 percent.
The paper extends the literature by providing a comprehensive set of itemized causes of retail stockouts and reflects implications for sales‐data driven research. It adds to the emergent research that applies service‐dominant logic to retail stockout research.
Ehrenthal, J. and Stölzle, W. (2013), "An examination of the causes for retail stockouts", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 43 No. 1, pp. 54-69. https://doi.org/10.1108/09600031311293255Download as .RIS
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