Purpose – This paper seeks to examine key factors within the control of store managers to optimizing inventory and store results. Design/methodology/approach – This research integrates principles of action research and traditional research in a big box retail environment. Findings – While this study confirms theories that link inventory to sales, merchandise selection, and technology, it emphasizes the role of people. Furthermore, it proves that different stores within same companies and different departments within same stores deliver different results due, mainly, to human factors – specifically, critical thinking, functional knowledge, and leadership. Research limitations/implications – This study does not address inventory assortment, space allocation, automatic replenishment, planograms design, technology, logistics, and other factors that may impact inventory but mostly outside the control of big box store managers. Originality/value – This study proposes practical tools and ideas to optimizing inventory and business results in big‐box stores. It also serves as an example of extracting and verifying retail management theory from practice. As such, it benefits both practitioners and academics.
International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 14, 2008
Keywords: Inventory management; Critical thinking; Functional management; Leadership; Action research