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Strategic supply chain choices for multi-channel Internet retailers


  • Richard Metters


  • Steve Walton


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. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2007

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Metters & Steve Walton, 2007. "Strategic supply chain choices for multi-channel Internet retailers," Service Business, Springer;Pan-Pacific Business Association, vol. 1(4), pages 317-331, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:svcbiz:v:1:y:2007:i:4:p:317-331 DOI: 10.1007/s11628-006-0016-5

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Yao, Dong-Qing & Liu, John J., 2005. "Competitive pricing of mixed retail and e-tail distribution channels," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 235-247, June.
    2. Kevin Chiang, Wei-yu & Monahan, George E., 2005. "Managing inventories in a two-echelon dual-channel supply chain," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 162(2), pages 325-341, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sang-Heui Lee & Jay Wyk, 2015. "National institutions and logistic performance: a path analysis," Service Business, Springer;Pan-Pacific Business Association, vol. 9(4), pages 733-747, December.
    2. repec:eee:jbrese:v:77:y:2017:i:c:p:53-67 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:spr:grdene:v:18:y:2009:i:5:d:10.1007_s10726-008-9136-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:kap:jtecht:v:42:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10961-016-9517-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Hsin-Hui Lin, 2011. "Gender differences in the linkage of online patronage behavior with TV-and-online shopping values," Service Business, Springer;Pan-Pacific Business Association, vol. 5(4), pages 295-312, December.


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