Out-of-Stocks Continue to Hurt Retailers
pretty well established over the years that you can’t sell something you
don’t have on the shelf. That fundamental principle is reinforced by new
research from IHL Group, which found that out-of-stocks are cutting the
average ring in retail channels from consumer electronics to supermarkets.
to the study’s findings, as many as 20 percent of all shoppers at retail
come into stores and find that at least one item they were going to purchase
offender is consumer electronics stores, where shoppers said they left
stores without buying an item 21.2 percent of the time. In dollars, that
means consumer electronics stores are losing $1.35 to out-of-stocks on
every customer who comes through their doors.
clubs (losing $1.78 per customer) and supermarkets (68 cents) are also
losing significant dollars as a result of out-of-stocks.
remain in denial when it comes to consumers’ perceptions of out-of-stocks," said
Greg Buzek, president of IHL Group, in a press
release. "Consumers don’t care why the product is not available.
They come in with money to spend at the stores and have to leave either
because the shelves are empty, there is no one to help get a locked item,
or the staff simply cannot find the merchandise even though the computer
system says they have it. Nine percent of all consumers in our study
have simply stopped shopping at one or more retailers in the last 12 months
due to the problem."
Why do out-of-stocks continue to be such an issue at retail? Are retailers
doing a better or worse job of managing inventory today than in the past?