Band 16

Customer reactions to Out of Stock in food retail

Timo Handermann, Carsten Kortum

August 2023

Due to various events, the availability of goods in retail is currently increasingly being restricted
with the result that customers cannot find in food retail (FR) the products they wish to buy,
because those products are sold out or not available for delivery. This situation is also termed Out
of Stock (OoS). The reasons for the unavailability of products are often problems in connection
with purchase orders for goods, as well as the replenishment process within a store. According to
literature, in those cases where a customer is confronted with an OoS situation, the customer may
postpone shopping, buys an alternate product, buys the product in another store or does not buy
the product at all. Depending on the customer’s reaction, this will result in a sales decline
affecting the retailer and/or manufacturer differently. In these cases, customer reactions are
influenced by various factors, such as brand loyalty, availability of offered substitute products and
many other factors. Within the scope of a survey, it was found that 36 % of the customers
predominantly reacted with the purchase of an alternate product of another brand to an OoS
situation. Also, 29 % of the surveyed were willing to visit another store due to an OoS situation.

Seiten 102