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Retail category management: State-of-the-art review of quantitative research and software applications in assortment and shelf space management


  • Hübner, Alexander H.
  • Kuhn, Heinrich


Retail requires efficient decision support to manage increasing product proliferation and various consumer choice effects with limited shelf space. Our goal is to identify, describe and compare decision support systems for category planning. This research analyzes quantitative models and software applications in assortment and shelf space management and contributes to a more integrated modeling approach. There are difficulties commonly involved in the use of commercial software and the implementation and transfer of scientific models. Scientific decision models either focus on space-dependent demand or substitution effects, whereas software applications use simplistic rules of thumb. We show that retail assortment planning models neglect space-elastic demand and largely also ignore constraints of limited shelf space. Shelf space management streams on the other hand, mostly omit substitution effects between products when products are delisted orout-of-stock, which is the focus of consumer choice models in assortment planning. Also, the problem sizes of the models are often not relevant for realistic category sizes. Addressing these issues, this paper provides a state-of-the-art overview and research framework for integrated assortment and shelf space planning.

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  • Hübner, Alexander H. & Kuhn, Heinrich, 2012. "Retail category management: State-of-the-art review of quantitative research and software applications in assortment and shelf space management," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 199-209, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jomega:v:40:y:2012:i:2:p:199-209

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    1. Stelios Tsafarakis & Charalampos Saridakis & Nikolaos Matsatsinis & George Baltas, 2016. "Private labels and retail assortment planning: a differential evolution approach," Annals of Operations Research, Springer, vol. 247(2), pages 677-692, December.
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    3. Masoud Rabbani & Navid Salmanzadeh-Meydani & Amir Farshbaf-Geranmayeh & Vahed Fadakar-Gabalou, 2018. "Profit maximizing through 3D shelf space allocation of 2D display orientation items with variable heights of the shelves," OPSEARCH, Springer;Operational Research Society of India, vol. 55(2), pages 337-360, June.
    4. Weinrich, Ramona & Kühl, Sarah & Franz, Anabell & Spiller, Achim, 2015. "Consumer preferences for meat: self-service counter or service counter?," 2015 International European Forum (144th EAAE Seminar), February 9-13, 2015, Innsbruck-Igls, Austria 206232, International European Forum on System Dynamics and Innovation in Food Networks.
    5. Bianchi-Aguiar, Teresa & Silva, Elsa & Guimarães, Luis & Carravilla, Maria Antónia & Oliveira, José F., 2018. "Allocating products on shelves under merchandising rules: Multi-level product families with display directions," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 47-62.
    6. Hübner, Alexander & Kuhn, Heinrich & Kühn, Sandro, 2016. "An efficient algorithm for capacitated assortment planning with stochastic demand and substitution," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 250(2), pages 505-520.
    7. Rucheva, A., 2015. "Determinants of joint supplier-retailer project performance in category management field," Working Papers 6423, Graduate School of Management, St. Petersburg State University.
    8. Teresa Bianchi-Aguiar & Elsa Silva & Luis Guimarães & Maria Antónia Carravilla & José F. Oliveira & João Günther Amaral & Jorge Liz & Sérgio Lapela, 2016. "Using Analytics to Enhance a Food Retailer’s Shelf-Space Management," Interfaces, INFORMS, vol. 46(5), pages 424-444, October.
    9. Sternbeck, Michael G. & Kuhn, Heinrich, 2014. "An integrative approach to determine store delivery patterns in grocery retailing," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 205-224.
    10. Kuo, Chia-Wei & Yang, Shu-Jung Sunny, 2013. "The role of store brand positioning for appropriating supply chain profit under shelf space allocation," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 231(1), pages 88-97.
    11. Mou, Shandong & Robb, David J. & DeHoratius, Nicole, 2018. "Retail store operations: Literature review and research directions," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 265(2), pages 399-422.
    12. Denis Drexler & Martin Souček, 2017. "The Level of Shelves and Space Solution as One of the Key Factors for Consumer Attention," Acta Universitatis Agriculturae et Silviculturae Mendelianae Brunensis, Mendel University Press, vol. 65(5), pages 1679-1686.
    13. Hans Corsten & Michael Hopf & Benedikt Kasper & Clemens Thielen, 2018. "Assortment planning for multiple chain stores," OR Spectrum: Quantitative Approaches in Management, Springer;Gesellschaft für Operations Research e.V., vol. 40(4), pages 875-912, October.
    14. Alexander Hübner & Kai Schaal, 2017. "Effect of replenishment and backroom on retail shelf-space planning," Business Research, Springer;German Academic Association for Business Research, vol. 10(1), pages 123-156, June.
    15. Stelios Tsafarakis, 2016. "Redesigning product lines in a period of economic crisis: a hybrid simulated annealing algorithm with crossover," Annals of Operations Research, Springer, vol. 247(2), pages 617-633, December.
    16. Ahmed Ghoniem & Tulay Flamand & Mohamed Haouari, 2016. "Exact Solution Methods for a Generalized Assignment Problem with Location/Allocation Considerations," INFORMS Journal on Computing, INFORMS, vol. 28(3), pages 589-602, August.
    17. Giang Trinh & Jenni Romaniuk & Arry Tanusondjaja, 2016. "Benchmarking buyer behavior towards new brands," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 27(4), pages 743-752, December.
    18. Zhao, Ju & Zhou, Yong-Wu & Wahab, M.I.M., 2016. "Joint optimization models for shelf display and inventory control considering the impact of spatial relationship on demand," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 255(3), pages 797-808.
    19. Flamand, Tulay & Ghoniem, Ahmed & Haouari, Mohamed & Maddah, Bacel, 2018. "Integrated assortment planning and store-wide shelf space allocation: An optimization-based approach," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 134-149.
    20. Tsao, Yu-Chung & Lu, Jye-Chyi & An, Na & Al-Khayyal, Faiz & Lu, Richard W. & Han, Guanghua, 2014. "Retailer shelf-space management with trade allowance: A Stackelberg game between retailer and manufacturers," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 133-144.
    21. Deane, Jason & Agarwal, Anurag, 2012. "Scheduling online advertisements to maximize revenue under variable display frequency," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 562-570.
    22. Strauss, Arne K. & Klein, Robert & Steinhardt, Claudius, 2018. "A review of choice-based revenue management: Theory and methods," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 271(2), pages 375-387.
    23. Hübner, Alexander & Schaal, Kai, 2017. "An integrated assortment and shelf-space optimization model with demand substitution and space-elasticity effects," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 261(1), pages 302-316.
    24. Schaal, Kai & Hübner, Alexander, 2018. "When does cross-space elasticity matter in shelf-space planning? A decision analytics approach," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 135-152.


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