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Empirical study on omni-channel grocery retailing

Omni-Channel Grocery Retailing - A European Study on Logistics Networks

Published March 2017

During interviews with grocery retailers we gained interesting insights into omni-channel logistics networks and how European grocery retailers integrate the online channel into their existing network structures. We would like to present to you the most interesting findings of our research study, summarized in this brochure.

6 European countries, 12 omni-channle retailers

A total of 12 omni-channel grocery retailers from six European countries participated in this study. Additionally, logistics experts from Europe shared their insights on omni-channel grocery retailing with us. The heterogeneity of our sample enabled us to build a typology of logistics networks in grocery retailing on multiple channels and to understand the advantages of different warehousing, picking, internal transportation and last mile delivery systems.

Logistics networks in omni-channel grocery retailing

The logistics network is determined by the question where to split the case packs into customer units. Whereas in non-food logistics channel integration is mostly seen as beneficial, in grocery retailing this highly depends on product, market and retailer specifics. The data from our sample reveals six distinct types for cross-channel order fulfillment.

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Acquisition of the study

The study “Omni-Channel Grocery Retailing – A European Study on Logistics Networks” has been published in March 2017. It comprises 24 colored pages and can be ordered at a price of 195.-€.

By fax: (+49) 0841 937 21955
By telephone: (+49) 0841 937 21823
By email: handelslogistik(at)  


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Empirical studies on logistics in multi-channel retailing


Development stages & performance criteria

for logistics in multi-channel retailing

The empirical study “Development stages and performance criteria for logistics in multi-channel retailing” provides information about logistics development options for retailers, operating an online and bricks-and-mortar business. We show which performance criteria can be used to establish and control multi-channel logistics effectively and efficiently. This brochure builds on the insights of the explorative study “Logistics in multi-channel retailing”.



Survey of top managers in retail logistics

Over 60 multi-channel retailers and retail logistics expertshave been interviewed about challenges, success factors, and KPIs in multi-channel logistics. Executives of textile, DIY, consumer electronics retailers as well as retailers from other sectors took part in the interviews.

Status quo and outlook

The key results, which particularly focus on the integration of organizational entities, warehouses and inventories, as well as on the expansion of the delivery and return options, are systemized in a structured way. The study shows the current situation in German multi-channel logistics using seven cornerstones and three expansion phases of logistics, which the retailers may pass successively. We analyze the current development status of the different industries and thus provide valuable insights into further development possibilities for retailers. We describe how the performance of multi-channel logistics can be measured by means of different criteria now and in the future.



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Logistics in multi-channel retailing

An empirical study on structures, fields of action, and development paths

The empirical study “Logistics in multi-channel retailing" illustrates current structures, processes and challenges in the online- and bricks-and-mortar business from a logistics perspective.



“Some rules that we have learned in bricks-and-mortar business do not apply anymore for the online business. We can no longer think in the bricks-and-mortar business model.” Head of Supply Chain Management

“Multi-channel retailing is opportunity and threat at the same time” Head of Logistics



Personal interviews with top managers

33 well-known companies - 28 bricks-and-mortar and online retailers as well as five service providers – have participated in personal interviews. Executives have been questioned face-to-face about the current situation and logistics challenges in fashion, DIY, and consumer electronics retailing as well as in other sectors.

Current fields of action

The interview partners discussed their current top fields of action in logistics. Merging the two channels by integrated delivery modes, increasing delivery speed, and integrating inventories are, among others, the top issues, which are discussed in detail.

Planning areas in multi-channel logistics

As a part of the analysis you will find a detailed description of the structures, processes and trends in multi-channel retail logistics. The study provides a comprehensive overview of the logistics structures in multi-channel retailing, describes the logistics networks as well as the processes and thereby illustrates the planning problems in warehousing, distribution, and instore, and the development paths of the companies.

Insights in development paths and directions

The results of the study provide important insights for potential process and system improvements regarding integrated multi-channel logistics. Examples of companies thereby give suggestions, how the integration and coordination of distance retail operations and bricks-and-mortar logistics can be designed efficiently.



Table of content

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Acquisition of the studies

The study “Development stages and performance criteria for logistics in multi-channel retailing” has been published in August 2014 as follow up of “Logistics in multi-channel retailing”. It comprises 24 colored pages and can be individually ordered at a price of 99.-€ or in combination with the preliminary study (64 pages with colored figures, published in October 2013) at a price of 259,-€.

By fax: (+49) 0841 937 21955
By telephone: (+49) 0841 937 21823
By email: handelslogistik(at)  

Nach oben







Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt
Ingolstadt School of Management

Chair of Supply Chain Management & Operations
Auf der Schanz 49
85049 Ingolstadt  

Phone: (+49) 0841 937 21823
Email: handelslogistik(at)


Illustration: Stephanie Schmidt

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