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Retail logistics - top explanation in 2024

What is retail logistics?

Retail logistics refers to all logistical processes of a company in connection with material and goods flows as well as information flows within procurement logistics. This includes all retail logistics processes that take place with regard to customers, retailers, manufacturers and suppliers and the company, as well as logistics processes that take place both inside and outside the retail company.

How does retail logistics work?

Retail logistics works when the internal processes, goods and information flows meet all the requirements of the merchandise management system and warehouse management by selecting a suitable concept for the retail company and an efficient warehouse strategy. Only then are the required goods and merchandise quickly accessible from the warehouse and the goods distribution centers and can be provided by the appropriate service partners for transport to the customer, retailer, manufacturer or supplier.

Basically, retail logistics deals with the question of whether a retail company handles certain goods directly and sends them to customers, retailers and suppliers through service partners or whether the goods are stored beforehand. The faster the goods arrive at the customer or supplier, the better. Achieving this is a major challenge for every retail company and therefore for retail logistics.

The flow of information and communication with suppliers is crucial to the smooth flow of goods and ultimately trade. The information flows of the individual processes in the areas of logistics, warehouse management, procurement logistics and distribution logistics must be precise and coordinated.

All deliveries must be precisely tailored to the needs and requirements of the individual retail companies so that the internal processes and flow of goods in the goods distribution centers are not disrupted and warehouse capacities are not overloaded as a result. This also reduces the high storage costs associated with retail logistics.

What is the aim of retail logistics?

The primary goal of retail logistics is the effective provision of all merchandise and sales goods in the goods distribution centers in order to minimize storage costs and generate the optimum profit for a retail company. Both the optimization of the management processes and the logistics processes in conjunction with a merchandise management system that meets the customer's requirements will ultimately make a retail company successful. 

To ensure that certain products and merchandise are always available at the point of sale (POS), the flow of goods must be carefully thought out and systematically planned in advance. If a retail company has understood the aim of retail logistics, this has the great advantage of not having to store merchandise and sales goods for very long, but rather to handle the respective goods and merchandise more frequently and ship them immediately to customers or manufacturers through the relevant service partners. 


In terms of increasing digitalization and customer expectations, retail logistics has taken on a very important and significant role now and in the future. This means that without a good strategy and a carefully thought-out concept, there can be no well-functioning retail logistics for either industry or retail. Only by constantly developing and changing individual logistics processes in retail and distribution logistics can all customer requirements be met and a company's profits maximized.

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