- Too little attention is paid to space management within the retail sphere, which has a negative impact on the supply chain, Retail Leader reported recently.
- Aligning supply chain managers, store supervisors and planners in order to optimize space helps shape each store's merchandise to its particular market. Retail stores should seek to simultaneously make room for merchandising, promotions and incoming inventory, according to a recent Martec International report.
- Integrating space, assortment, forecasting, and replenishment enables retailers to respond effectively to shoppers in each individual store and maximizes sales.
Retailers have their plates full with the pressures of e-commerce. Integrating various sales channels with omnichannel strategies, ensuring last-mile deliveries occur without a hitch, and securing a reverse logistics process are just a few, recent challenges. Retail Leader's article adds another to the list: space management.
It's a laundry list, but one that highlights the growing importance of supply chain management to the retail industry. As brick-and-mortar battles e-commerce, storefronts are forced to reimagine their space and processes to deliver products faster, cheaper and without a hitch. Fortunately, supply chain's job is to do just that whether in the warehouse, manufacturing facility, or storefront.
As a result, it is essential storefronts do not silo supply chain from their processes. Supply chain strategies can help determine how to organize a store to best advantage, doing more than just restocking but also ensuring new merchandise is on display and easily visible. Inbound products are just part of a chain, after all, and recent software trends suggest the future is to gain visibility across space (from transportation to warehouse to store) to determine the best point of sale.
It may be futuristic, but that's why Retail Leader called it "the next frontier." The upside? Retail is not the only industry asking supply chain to be more involved: the healthcare, food, and pharmaceutical industries are also seeing a greater need for the profession's expertise in the age of data, visibility and fast commerce.