Inventory policy for dense retail outlets
Additional Document Info
A potential retail operations strategy is to have a `dense' store. That is, a store that combines high product variety with a small footprint. Retail management desires smaller stores to provide the strategic benefits of convenience and speed to customers, but desires larger stores to provide high product variety. Noting the benefits of smaller, more numerous stores, several retailers well known for their extremely large store size recently have begun experimenting with a small store format. Traditional retail inventory management policies, however, have difficulty combining high variety and small store size. Here, the potential advantages of the dense store type are explored. To facilitate this exploration, inventory policies are developed to help manage small stores by increasing their product density. Results based on grocery industry data indicate that the heuristics compare favorably to optimality and permit the dense store concept to potentially achieve substantial gains compared to current practice.