Retail Supply Chain 2024: Challenges and Opportunities

The biggest issue impacting Retail Operations this year is supply chain challenges. To the public, they manifest themselves in empty shelves, products being out of stock and an increase in price.

Rose Maher, Retail Lead at HSO says;

"As most retailers know only too well, these issues need to be addressed, and in many cases, the solution is to improve key business processes by automating those parts of each process. A major part of this is improving retailers’ systems. The good news is that it does not require rocket science to make things better. If you would like to have a deeper understanding of these challenges and gain insight into how best to address them, don’t miss out on our new white paper with the Retail Gazette."

Introduction to the Report

It’s been a challenging decade for retailers in terms of supply chain management and optimisation. In the early 2010s retail’s acceleration towards e-commerce and rapid distribution added a complex layer to what had been primarily a store-based operating model for so long –all taking place in the shadow of the 2008 financial crash which raised costs sharply.

In 2016, the UK voted to leave the European Union prompting a flurry of new administrative burden and uncertainty that many retailers operating across international borders are still working their way through today. Then in 2020 came the global pandemic which turned everything retailers thought they knew upside down. The economic fallout from the COVID crisis and the subsequent Russian war in the Ukraine has meant, even as businesses reopened and the end of the pandemic was declared, supply chains remained in a state of flux and disruption.

This whole host of factors – in addition to outdated technology and systems that track supply chain management – are putting extreme pressure on retailers. But there are ways forward with the right partnerships and strategies – and the most forward-thinking retailers are forging a path forward for others to follow, powered by new tech and data-driven approaches.

The following pages highlight today’s key retail supply challenges, convey the views of experts, and highlight some of the solutions that exist to future-proof retail supply chains in what appears to be a new normal of ongoing disruption.

Read on for insights and recommendation