International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Article publication date: 20 June 2008



Fernie, J. (2008), "Editorial", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 36 No. 8. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijrdm.2008.08936haa.001



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Article Type: Editorial From: International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Volume 36, Issue 8

This is a themed issue on aspects of logistics and supply chain management covering topics such as efficient consumer response (ECR), quick response (QR), e-fulfillment and on-shelf availability (OSA).

Jesper Aastrup and colleagues propose a theoretical model which can be utilized to provide a structure from which scorecard measures can be implemented. The research here focuses upon work carried out for ECR-Austria by the authors on the general success factors and pitfalls of ECR practices and a Denmark survey which measures suppliers’ views on the application of the ECR scorecard. Both studies indicated a lack of collaboration as a barrier to implementation which linked to a lack of system trust and other “soft” intra-organisational factors.

QR was a forerunner to ECR in that it was a supply chain strategy introduced in the USA in the mid-1980s to improve competitiveness of the domestic textile industry in the wake of Japanese clothing imports. Terence Brown and Thomas Buttross analysed the financial performance of companies in the USA who had adopted QR compared with non adopters. Using the CRSP/Compustat database, the authors found that adopters did not achieve significantly better results on profitability, cost efficiency or inventory levels. Possible reasons for this are given such as increased transport costs, the carrying of more lines and corporate culture issues pertaining to collaboration.

Our third paper by my colleague Neil Towers and co-author Rong Chen is a more conceptual paper. He reviews the range of paradigms in social science research and advocates the use of the participative paradigm for use in supply chain management research. This “action” qualitative research is highlighted through examples in the textile supply chain.

Jesse Weltevreden, in our penultimate paper, discusses collection and delivery points (CPD) in The Netherlands in response to the growth of online retailing. From a 2006 consumer survey and semi-structured interviews with CPD providers, it was shown that only 19 per cent of Dutch online shoppers use service points and these are mainly used for returning goods rather than for collecting deliveries (only 1.4 per cent of orders in 2006 were delivered to a service point). However, he argues that retailers who operate a service point can gain additional revenue in that consumers usually make a purchase when returning a parcel.

The final paper is by David Grant and your editor and it is a research note investigating a major issue which has been the subject of ECRUK events in recent years –OSA and out of stocks. Research has therefore focused on the grocery sector to date so the authors have undertaken exploratory work on non-grocery, high street retailers. From the four retailers’ studies in different categories – books, general merchandise, mobile phones and electronics, it was shown that OSA is more problematic than in the grocery sector. There is little collaboration between retailers and suppliers and a lack of investment in technology, poor system data accuracy and poor in-store replenishment processes.

John Fernie

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