Retail Supply Chain
Retail supply chain – Merchandising is the Supply Chain practice of making products in retail outlets available to consumers, primarily by stocking shelves and displays. While this used to be done exclusively by the stores’ employees, many retailers have found substantial savings in requiring it to be done by the manufacturer, vendor, or wholesaler that provides the products to the retail store. There are a number of organizations that supply merchandising services to support retail outlets with general stock replenishment and merchandising support in new stores. By doing this, retail stores have been able to substantially reduce the number of employees needed to run the store. While stocking shelves and building displays is often done when the product is delivered, it is increasingly a separate activity from delivering the product. In Grocery Stores, for example, almost all products delivered directly to the store from a manufacturer or wholesaler will be stocked by the manufacturer’s / wholesaler’s employee who is a full time merchandiser. Product categories where this is common are Beverage (all types, alcoholic & non-alcoholic), Packaged Baked Goods (Bread & Pastries), Magazines & Books, and Health & Beauty products. For major food manufacturers in the Beverage and Baked Goods industries, their Merchandisers are often the single largest employee group within the company.