Editorial

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Article publication date: 14 March 2008

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Citation

Broadbridge, A. (2008), "Editorial", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 36 No. 3. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijrdm.2008.08936caa.001

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:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Editorial

Article Type: Editorial From: International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Volume 36, Issue 3.

This issue contains two contributions from authors based in the USA and two from the UK. The first article by Amine Ayad addresses the topic of optimising inventory in an effort to make more effective management processes and systems, thus also maximising store results. Amine Ayad's background is in civil engineering and he is currently a store manager working for “The Home Depot”. His concern for out-of-stocks and excess inventory led him to initiate a team project to improve inventory optimisation. He involved a series of seven store managers from seven different locations to design and execute specific plans that matched their individual situations, on the premise that one solution would not “fit all” as each store has its own personality, strengths and challenges. His findings highlighted the contribution of people in the process and how critical thinking, functional knowledge and leadership can make a difference to inventory results. He argues that, these three elements must work together holistically; otherwise frustration, departmentalisation and resistance to change might ensue. His findings resulted in the introduction of new forms of training for employees. He concludes his article with some practical recommendations for improving inventory via sound people management.

Sameer Kumar's article also considers the issue of logistics, and using the example of the supermarket industry he attempts to provide an increased understanding of the strategic retail and distribution issues of concern today. He identifies the commonalities and differences between the supermarket industry and its logistic capabilities in various different countries, including North America, Europe, Japan and India. His article takes the reader through some important industry trends including expanded service requirements, mass customisation, customer loyalty and private labelling, delivery options and diverse markets. He then considers the effects in operations and logistics and argues that the supermarket industry is customising operating strategies, and that efficient consumer response (ECR) standards are becoming a common method used to increase the supermarket supply chain efficiencies. Finally, he identifies some of the logistics challenges and opportunities for supermarkets. In his conclusions, he argues that in the face of today's environment retailers need to become more creative and efficient and this requires the implementation of higher ECR standards.

In their article, Kutay Erdem and Ruth Schmidt, trace the historical development of the migration of Turks into Germany, and highlight some of the problems raised as a result of lack of official preparation to integrate these people. Comprising 3 per cent of the German population many Turkish immigrants are concentrated in medium to large cities. The authors argue that, to facilitate successful ethnic target marketing it is important to understand Turkish consumers, their lifestyles and attitudes, and the characteristics the various generations of Turks hold dear. They point out that the situation is quite different between the first and second generations. The first generation are more separatist and keeping to traditional values, while the second generation are more bi-cultural and want to participate in more mainstream German society. Some implications for retailing are highlighted.

The final article in this issue is by Gary Warnaby, and in it he utilises the academic literature of cartography and place marketing to investigate the use of town centre guides as a device for the representation of urban shopping destinations. He argues that town centre guides are omnipresent in the promotion of urban retailing, and are an essential means of communication. His methodological approach was to select such guides from a variety of destinations which reflected a spectrum of retail hierarchies (including market towns, industrial towns, resorts and historic towns and major cities). The article focuses on the content of the maps in terms of how the graphic interface features of scale, projection and symbolism are used. He found the level of detail and content of maps in town centre guides to vary considerably. He questions who produces the maps, what is highlighted in them and where the boundaries of the map are drawn. In so doing he indicates some implications these maps hold for marketing communication devices and messages.

Adelina Broadbridge