Explain why inventory is such an important issue in retailing

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Retailers Dash to Fill Void Left by Toys ‘R’ Us Collapse
By Paul Ziobro | Oct 08, 2018
TOPICS: Consumer Behavior, E-Commerce, Retailing, Supply Chain Management
SUMMARY: After the collapse of Toys “R” Us, billions of dollars of holiday toy sales are up for grabs. Retailers are vying for a piece of the action. (Related article) Retailers and logistics operators are bringing robotics and artificial intelligence to distribution centers to move online orders at a faster pace in a tight labor market.
CLASSROOM APPLICATION: It is a challenge to maintain sufficient product inventory for the holiday shopping season when consumers want those products without accumulating excess inventory after the holiday season that would drag down a retailer’s financial results. Summarize the central challenge that retailers face with respect to inventory during the holiday shopping season.
1. (Introductory) With respect to the holiday shopping season, what was Toys ‘R’ Us able to do that other retailers and e-commerce platforms are not able to do?
2. (Advanced) List and describe at least two strategies that retailers are trying in an effort to capture the sales that Toys ‘R’ Us used to capture?
3. (Advanced) Explain why inventory is such an important issue in retailing, particularly during the holiday shopping season.
4. (Advanced) What impact is the current labor market having on the retail industry? How are retailers trying to handle this issue?

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