Modelling handling operations in grocery retail stores : an empirical analysis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


Shelf stacking represents the daily process of manually refilling the shelves with products from new deliveries. For most retailers, handling operations are labour-intensive and often very costly. This paper presents an empirical study of the shelf-stacking process in grocery retail stores. We examine the complete process at the level of individual sub-activities and study the main factors that affect the execution time of this common operation. Based on the insights from different sub-activities, a prediction model is developed that allows estimating the total stacking time per order line, solely on the basis of the number of case packs and consumer units. The model is tested and validated using real-life data from two European grocery retailers and serves as a useful tool for evaluating the workload required for the usual shelf-stacking operations. Furthermore, we illustrate the benefits of the model by analytically quantifying the potential time savings in the stacking process, and present a lot-sizing analysis to demonstrate the opportunities for extending inventory control rules with a handling component.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-214
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the Operational Research Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009


Dive into the research topics of 'Modelling handling operations in grocery retail stores : an empirical analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this