Login



For PLUS+ subscription assistance, contact customer service.

Not a PLUS+ Subscriber?

Become a PLUS+ Subscriber today and you'll get access to all Supply Chain Management Review premium content including:

  • Full Web Access
  • 7 Magazine Issues per Year
  • Companion Digital Editions
  • Digital Edition Archives
  • Bonus Email Newsletters

Subscribe Today!

Premium access to exclusive online content, companion digital editions, magazine issues and email newsletters.

Subscribe Now.


Become a PLUS+ subscriber and you'll get access to all Supply Chain Management Review premium content including:

  • Full Web Access. All feature articles, bonus reports and industry research through scmr.com.

  • 7 Magazine Issues per year of Supply Chain Management Review magazine.

  • Companion Digital Editions. Searchable replicas of each magazine issue. Read them in any web browser. Delivered by email faster than printed issues.

  • Digital Editions Archives. Every article, every chart and every table as it appeared in the magazine for all archive issues back to 2009.

  • Bonus email newsletters. Add convenient weekly and monthly email newsletters to your subscription to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry.

PLUS+ subscriptions start as low as $109/year*. Begin yours now.
That's less than $0.36 per day for access to information that you can use year-round to better manage your entire global supply chain.

For assistance with your PLUS+ subscription, contact customer service.

* Prices higher for subscriptions outside the USA.

PLUS+ Customer Service Support


Customer service for all PLUS+ subscribers is available Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm Eastern time.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1-800-598-6067 (1-508-663-1500 x294 outside USA)
Mail: PO Box 1496, Framingham MA 01701-1496, USA



You have been logged out of PLUS+


For PLUS+ subscription assistance, contact customer service.

Need to access our premium PLUS+ Content?
Upgrade your subscription now.


Our records show that you are currently receiving a free subscription to Supply Chain Management Review magazine, or your subscription has expired. To access our premium content, you need to upgrade your subscription to our PLUS+ status.

To upgrade your subscription account, please contact customer service at:

Email: [email protected] Phone: 1-800-598-6067 (1-508-663-1500 x294 outside USA)

Become a PLUS+ subscriber and you'll get access to all Supply Chain Management Review premium content including:

  • Full Web Access. All feature articles, bonus reports and industry research through scmr.com.

  • 7 Magazine Issues per year of Supply Chain Management Review magazine.

  • Companion Digital Editions. Searchable replicas of each magazine issue. Read them in any web browser. Delivered by email faster than printed issues.

  • Digital Editions Archives. Every article, every chart and every table as it appeared in the magazine for all archive issues back to 2010.

  • Bonus email newsletters. Add convenient weekly and monthly email newsletters to your subscription to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry.

PLUS+ subscriptions start as low as $129/year*. Start yours now.
That's less than $0.36 per day for access to information that you can use year-round to better manage your entire global supply chain.

This content is available for PLUS+ subscribers.


Already a PLUS+ subscriber?


To begin or upgrade your subscription, Become a PLUS+ subscriber now.

For assistance with your PLUS+ subscription, contact customer service.

Sorry, but your login to PLUS+ has failed.


Please recheck your login information and resubmit below.



For PLUS+ subscription assistance, contact customer service.

How Does Product Mix at the Store Drive Sales?

The retail industry is very competitive, so having the right product at the right store is the key to success.

By ·
By ·

Editor’s Note: Every year, 40 or so students in the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics’ (MIT CTL) Master of Supply Chain Management (SCM) program complete one-year thesis research projects. The students are early-career business professionals from multiple countries with 2 to 10 years of experience in the industry. The research projects are sponsored by and carried out in collaboration with multinational corporations.

Joint teams of company people, MIT SCM students, and MIT CTL faculty work on real-world problems chosen by the sponsoring companies. In this series we summarize a selection of the latest SCM research. The researcher for the SCM thesis summarized below, Krishna Rajendran, analyzed the factors that retailers can take into account when deciding on the best performing product assortment policies in stores. The thesis, Parameters Driving Consumer Demand in Brazil, was completed in collaboration with a leading retail chain in Brazil, and supervised by MIT CTL’s Dr. Matthias Winkenbach.

Large retail chains are increasingly faced with the question of how to develop an ideal product assortment policy to optimize sales. This issue is particularly challenging for retailers that have traditionally served customers in large cities, but are looking to serve a broader group of customers in smaller towns.

A researcher from MIT’s Center for Transportation and Logistics worked with a large Brazilian retail chain and developed a mathematical model to identify the store parameters that most influence sales for different departments. This analysis could help the company formulate an ideal product assortment policy, based on the parameters of the store.

Network shift
The company has 1041 stores and 36 different departments. Up until fairly recently, its network consisted mainly of large stores of uniform sizes catering to consumers in big cities.

To cater for its established customer base, the retailer’s assortment policy was to stock the same set of products at all stores. However, since 2010, it has embarked on an expansion plan to open smaller stores in small towns. Catering to more diverse consumers and opening smaller stores have necessitated a modification to the retailer’s assortment policy.

The newer stores are smaller in size and will not be able to stock all products. Determining the right products to stock at these outlets is key to success. The thesis research examined 105 store related parameters. These included socio-economic characteristics of consumers (e.g. the number of salaried workers and their economic activity), presence of establishments around the store (such as schools and supermarkets), city parameters (population density, number of tourists, and university influence), and internal factors (assortment size, temperature, sales area, and inventory storage area). The aim was to identify the parameters that have a statistically significant impact on sales for each department.

Key factors
The model pinpointed a set of 10 key statistically significant store parameters that impacted five or more departments, and thus had a significant impact on the company’s overall revenues. These parameters are income level of the population around the store, presence of supermarkets around the store, sales area, presence of shopping centers around the store, temperature, inventory storage area, age of the store, education level, presence of schools around the store, and the number of people in the age group 50-59 in the vicinity of each store.

The model and the insights gained from the research can be used by other large retail chains to understand the key store parameters that drive sales and to implement ideal assortment policies. These analyses can be carried out at the SKU and product line levels. Moreover, there is potential for improving the model by factoring in data on promotional campaigns.

The retail industry is very competitive, so having the right product at the right store is the key to success.

For more information on MIT CTL’s Supply Chain Master’s program and the student theses visit http://scm.mit.edu/program or contact SCM program Executive Director Dr. Bruce Arntzen at: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

Subscribe to Supply Chain Management Review Magazine!

Subscribe today. Don't Miss Out!
Get in-depth coverage from industry experts with proven techniques for cutting supply chain costs and case studies in supply chain best practices.
Start Your Subscription Today!

Latest Whitepaper
Third Party Risk: Too Close for Comfort
You’ve got a handle on many of the potential supply chain "disrupters" that can paralyze your business. But the real risk is embedded in areas you may have overlooked.
Download Today!
From the September-October 2017
Additive manufacturing and 3D printing promise to simplify manufacturing, reduce inventories, and streamline operations. But, to determine when and how to apply additive manufacturing, organizations need a decision model that assesses it’s market strategy, supply chain performance, and complexity.
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!


Latest Webcast
The Perfect Formula for Determining the Right Amount of Inventory
This webcast explains how the science of theoretical minimums, a new approach to inventory optimization, provides a simple and elegant way to reduce cost and increase customer service levels by monetizing time delays across the extended supply chain.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Supply Chains in Advanced Markets Should Become More Agile, Says Atradius
Higher inflation, falling unemployment, and strengthening Purchasing Manager Indices all suggest...
Trade Trends Report Confirms E-Commerce Urgency
Because trade policies remain fluid, shippers must have the information needed to be flexible and...

Supply Chain Digitization of Ocean Cargo Gateways Examined by chainPORT
The chainPORT initiative is led by the Ports of Los Angeles and Hamburg Port Authority in Germany,...
Procurement Still Falls Behind in Digitized Supply Chains, Says Accenture
“The digital revolution has largely overlooked procurement,” says Accenture.