Supply Chain Challenges in Retail

Retail stores are only as successful as their supply chains. This is because if the products do not make it to the stores on time, then they cannot be sold. Every day that a retail store has an empty shelf, it loses money. However, if a retail store can keep its supply chain optimized, then this can significantly increase its chances of success. Here are some of the top supply chain challenges in retail that retailers need to be able to deal with if they are to run a successful supply chain.

1. Compliance

Moving goods around the world is not as simple as putting them on a boat, a train, a plane, or a truck and sending them on their way. There is an entire barrage of regulations that must be complied with. If your retail company does not meet these regulations, then it could face a large number of penalties, fines, and other negative consequences. None of these are good for your business.

2. Optimizing costs

Supply chain costs can be very expensive. This is especially true if your retail store has to ship goods from different countries or faraway places. In order to optimize the success of your retail store, you will have to optimize the costs associated with your supply chain. This means finding the cheapest warehouses, shippers, shipping lanes, suppliers, etc. This will take some trial and error and a lot of research, but if you put the time in, there is a good chance that you will be able to successfully optimize your shipping costs.

3. High volume

If the volume of goods that you are shipping becomes too high, then it can be a challenge for just one shipping company to handle it all. So, if you experience a seasonal increase in demand, or if you are having a high shipping volume for some other reason, it may be wise to consider diversifying your shippers. This can help you to prevent having bottleneck situations where one shipper just can’t keep up with the high volume.


Supply chain challenges can be very frustrating for retailers to deal with. However, just because they are frustrating doesn’t mean that they cannot be solved. When you are trying to optimize your supply chain, you should be aware of these problems in advance. This can help you to more effectively deal with them.

Karin Jakovljevic

About the author

Karin Jakovljevic

Karin Jakovljevic is the head of marketing at Ximble, a powerful, cloud-based workforce management system, simplifying employee scheduling and time tracking for retailers, restaurants and small businesses.

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