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Strategic supply chain choices for multi-channel Internet retailers

Abstract

Multi-channel retailing—selling through multiple, distinct channels—has been a part of the retail industry as long as there have been main street merchants selling through catalogs. Since the mid-1990s, however, multi-channel retailing has increased dramatically due to traditional retailers selling over the Internet. This trend presents considerable operational challenges because Internet and traditional retail have vastly different demand drivers, product variety issues, optimal inventory configurations, cost structures, supply chain structures, and delivery mechanisms. Consequently, the optimal supply chain configuration for Internet delivery differs considerably from the optimal supply chain configuration for a retail store structure, so designing a supply chain system to serve both channels well is difficult. Accordingly, a set of strategic choices and trade-offs must be made. Here, we present some strategic alternatives.

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Metters, R., Walton, S. Strategic supply chain choices for multi-channel Internet retailers. Service Business 1, 317–331 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11628-006-0016-5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11628-006-0016-5

Keywords

  • Typology
  • Supply chain
  • Retail
  • Theory-building
  • Internet
  • Multi-channel distribution