Out-of-stock drives customers out the store

CHICAGO — Heading into Black Friday weekend, retailers would be wise to make sure their shelves are fully stocked. According to a study by Harris Interactive on behalf of Galleria Retail Technology Solutions, a provider of retail and category optimization solutions, nearly 70% of U.S. adults would avoid shopping at a retail store if they encountered empty shelves.

The study, conducted between Nov. 3 and Nov. 6 2011, surveyed a random sample of 1,021 U.S. adults regarding retail store loyalty. The survey also found that women are more likely than men to avoid shopping at a particular retail store if they encounter empty shelves during their visit.

“As we approach Black Friday and the holiday shopping season, retailers need to note that making sure their shelves are fully stocked is critical when it comes to retaining loyal customers,” said Bryan Eckhoff, EVP sales and account management for North America for Galleria. "The cost of empty shelves can be extremely high. Out-of-stocks can force consumers to migrate from a particular store, risking the loss of the value of an entire shopper’s basket, not just one product. Consistent out-of-stocks may force the permanent loss of that customer.”

The survey also found that U.S. adults would avoid a store due to long check-out lines (64%), desired items being out of stock (63%) and difficulty finding desired items (62%).

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