IJLM 2008 Fernie and Grant

IJLM 2008 Fernie and Grant - The current issue and full...

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On-shelf availability: the case of a UK grocery retailer John Fernie George Davies Centre for Retail Excellence, School of Management and Languages, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK, and David B. Grant Business School, Logistics Institute, University of Hull, Hull, UK Abstract Purpose – On-shelf availability (OSA) has been a major cause of concern to UK grocery retailers over the last ±ve years and the topic has been the focus of commissioned research reports by various trade associations. The purpose of this paper is to present a case study of how one major grocery retailer tackled the OSA issue that had been exacerbated by management focus on new technology and distribution facilities. Design/methodology/approach – The purpose of the research was to determine if any relationship existed between OSA and store picking for home shoppers, OSA and promotions and OSA and store size. This paper discusses the academic and practitioner literature on OSA and out-of-stocks (OOS) and then presents a single company, in-depth case study of one multiple grocery retailer. Primary research was undertaken with senior managers of the company but also at regional distribution centre (RDC) and store level to chart how new logistics strategies were implemented at an operational level in Scottish stores. Findings – It was noted that the advent of home shopping has aggravated the “last 50 yards” and a company can experience acute OSA dif±culties. Network changes involving a mixture of old and new systems create short-term pressures and pro±tability shortfalls. The new high-tech networks push products out to stores but overstocks occur in backrooms of stores and do not reach the shelves. Demand and supply may not synchronised. Research limitations/implications – Although there is primary empirical research related to the case study the major output is a framework presented for future investigation, thus there is no expansive empirical study in this paper. Practical implications – With the exception of smaller stores where OSA remains a problem, the company has succeeded in improving OSA levels in the other areas. Originality/value – This paper adds to our knowledge of OSA and OOS by investigating the ²ow of goods from the RDC to the store shelf and presenting various critical points in the process ²ow that have received scant attention from academics and practitioners. Keywords Stock control, Retail trade, Scotland, United Kingdom Paper type Case study Introduction In their major international study of retail out-of-stocks (OOS) Corsten and Gruen (2003, p. 603) argued that “availability of products is the new battleground in the fast moving consumer goods industry”. The study of stockouts is not new; in the USA the Progressive Grocer (1968a,b) published the ±rst major study on how grocery customers The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at www.emeraldinsight.com/0957-4093.htm The authors would like to thank Messrs. Ricardo Junk and Michael Clement for their help in conducting the ±eldwork.
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IJLM 2008 Fernie and Grant - The current issue and full...

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