Jonas Hense, Christian Dethlefs | 22.05.2022

Our latest research on omnichannel retail operations was accepted for publication in the European Journal of Operational Research (VHB-Journal rating: A) and is available at

Stores have become an even more central piece of the customer journey across seamlessly integrated channels. Omnichannel concepts like Buy Online Pick-up in Store (also called click and collect), Ship-From-Store, or Digital Assortment Extensions revitalize bricks-and-mortar stores and put them at the center of retail operations. Thereby, stores can be used to fulfill online orders, offer shorter lead times to customers, and extend the assortment across channels.

We comprehensively assessed the role of the store and the underlying store operations from a practical and an Operations Research (OR) lens. Through a conceptual overview, industry interviews, and a systematic literature analysis we derived five store-related planning issues in omnichannel retailing: The planning issues network design of fulfillment locations, assignment of customer orders, and assortment and inventory planning have been discussed in several store-related OC publications. Demand forecasting and inventory replenishment and returns have received less coverage, and offer significant research opportunities.

Hübner, A.; Hense, J.; Dethlefs, C. The revival of retail stores via omnichannel operations: A literature review and research framework. European Journal of Operational Research, 2022.