Retail supply chain management

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Most retail companies in Western European markets today face fierce competition and the search for new ways to increase competitiveness is accelerating. Resources throughout the entire supply chain are exploited as a means to develop new, sustainable strategies and business models.

Resources throughout the entire supply chain are exploited as a means to develop new, sustainable strategies and business models. In these efforts, logistics and supply chain management operations are often crucial. Our research demonstrates that some retail companies are not at first hand “product-“, “production-“ or “market-oriented”, but “flow-oriented” in their strategic profile.

There is a continuous need to identify and understand new challenges for retail companies and accordingly the research in the area needs to be updated. Except for traditional logistics and supply chain management theories, our research goes often outside this domain and borrows theories from other research disciplines such as strategic management and organisational research. A key task for our research is to better understand and explain the role of logistics in retail strategy, for example, by explaining how logistics contribute to, and sustain, competitive advantage. This type of research distinguishes us, and enables us to provide new perspectives to the logistics research community.

Currently, two projects are conducted: "Design of retail supply chains" and "The role of the logistics platform for retailers’ geographical expansion."

Design of retail supply chains

The purpose of the project ”Design of future retail supply chains” is to investigate how Swedish retail companies should design their supply chains towards a higher degree of flow orientation. In particular, obstacles, business opportunities and dynamic capabilities needed for such a design are identified.

The role of the logistics platform for retailers’ geographical expansion

Swedish retailers have increasingly expanded their businesses abroad to new geographical regions. This project explores the role of, and importance of having a suitable “logistics platform” for the expansion. It has long been argued that such a logistics platform is necessary for a successful expansion, but very little is known about its actual design. The project provides a more detailed understanding for the logistics platform.

Previous projects

  • Trends in the Swedish retail industry
  • The store opening process
  • Design of Swedish retailers’ global sourcing organisations

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