Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the unique supply chain strategies employed by retailers. Design/methodology/approach – A mixed methods approach was employed involving analysis of depth interviews with 27 retail supply chain executives combined with a follow‐up survey capturing over 200 responses. Findings – In light of uncertain economic conditions, retailers appear to be developing more agile/responsive supply chain management (SCM) strategies. Additionally, retailers are putting greater emphasis on maintaining a balance of cost versus service than the cost‐centered focus found in a prior study. Research limitations/implications – This study focused on US retailers and therefore results should be cautiously extended to the retailing environment in other countries. Practical implications – Retailing is not a “one size fits all” business, and study results suggest the SCM strategies used by retailers depend greatly on the nature of each retailer's model. However, the need to create agile SCM processes while controlling costs was an overarching theme described by retailers. Originality/value – Retailers operate some of the largest and most complex supply chains, yet SCM research has generally overlooked the retail sector. This study targets this gap, and in addition introduces a novel data collection approach using clicker devices that researchers may find useful in future projects.
The International Journal of Logistics Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 1, 2011
Keywords: United States of America; Retailing; Supply chain management; Logistics management; Retail logistics
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