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Retail Logistics - Due date December 31, 2014

Special issue call for papers from International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management

Guest Editors: Carlos Mena and Michael Bourlakis (Cranfield School of Management)

The way we buy products is changing due to social, economic, environmental and technological trends.  Retailers are directly exposed to these changes as they face the first ‘moment of truth’ with the customer.  Failure to deliver the right products on time, at the right cost and in the right conditions will lead to losses in sales for companies across the supply chain (Ehrenthal & Stölzle, 2013; Ettouzani, et al., 2012).  This has far reaching implications for retail logistics.

Over the last decade there has been a major transformation in retail logistics (Fernie and Sparks, 2009), driven by changes in consumer behavior and stimulated by technologies such as home shopping e-commerce, mobile commerce, tracking and tracing, Auto ID, and data analytics.  This has led to the development of multi-channel and omni-channel offerings, which are altering business models and forcing retailers and manufacturers to rethink the way they reach customers .  Similarly we have seen the rise of ethical customers and retailers’ efforts to improve their environmental and social credentials (Spence and Bourlakis, 2009).

Managing these changes has required significant investments in warehousing, distribution and retail infrastructure (Menachof et al., 2009).  The development of fulfillment centers, dark stores, home delivery networks, new transport technologies and customer collection points are all responses to these changes.  These developments are also creating new challenges such as the dramatic increase in customer returns and the associated cost implications (Bernon, et al., 2011).  Multiple business models are emerging and it is still unclear which models will survive and thrive.

The research community has been active in this area, helping practitioners understand these changes in the marketplace and their implications for retail logistics.  However, the dynamic nature of the phenomenon means that it is necessary to continuously investigate new developments and assess their impact on retail logistics.  This special issue intends to address the growing opportunities for research in this field.  Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

- Retail logistics and the consumer
- Retail logistics strategies
- Demand Chain Management (in a retail logistics context)
- New business models for retail logistics
- Collaboration in retail logistics
- E-tailing
- Omni-channel and multi-channel logistics
- Transport and distribution (retail)
- Warehousing (retail)
- Innovation in retail logistics
- Intelligent Technologies, Intelligent Transport Systems and ICT
- Tracking and tracing
- Analytics, big data and the supply chain
- Retail logistics modelling and simulation
- Sustainable retail logistics
- Green retail logistics
- Reverse logistics (retail)
- Ethical consumption and its implications for retail logistics
- National and international retail logistics
- Retail logistics and firm’s performance

When preparing manuscripts for submission, authors are asked to carefully follow the IJPDLM Author Guidelines as posted on the journal website: -

See more at:

When submitting your manuscript, please ensure that you select the “Retail Logistics Special Issue” option.

Any inquiries about the special issue should be directed to the Guest Editors:

Dr Carlos Mena, Reader in Procurement, Cranfield School of Management, UK, Email: [email protected]

Professor Michael Bourlakis, Chair in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and Head of Supply Chain Research Centre, Cranfield School of Management, UK, Email: [email protected]

Deadline for submissions: December 31, 2014


Bernon, M., Rossi, S. and Cullen, J. (2011) "Retail reverse logistics: a call and grounding framework for research", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 41 No. 5, pp. 484 – 510.

Ehrenthal, J. C.F., Stölzle, W. (2013) "An examination of the causes for retail stockouts", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 43 No. 1, pp. 54 – 69.

Ettouzani, Y, Yates, N. and Mena, C. (2012) “Examining retail on shelf availability: promotional impact and a call for research”, International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 42, No. 3, pp. 213-243.

Fernie, J. & Sparks, L. (2009), Logistics and Retail Management: Emerging Issues and New Challenges in the Retail Supply Chain, Kogan Page, 3rd edition.

Menachof, D., Bourlakis, M. and Makios, T. (2009) “Tracing the order lead-time of grocery retailers in the UK and Greek markets”, Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, Vol. 14, No. 5, pp. 349-358.

Spence L. and Bourlakis, M. (2009) "The evolution from corporate social responsibility to supply chain responsibility: The case of Waitrose", Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, Vol. 14, No. 4, pp. 291-302.