Lean Retailing

Teaching the Big Box New Tricks

Tesco in Britain has been a pioneer in lean provision for more than a decade. In the mid-1990s, as he looked at the opportunities for retailers provided by the emergence of lean logistics, Graham Booth, Tesco’s supply-chain director (now retired) had a very simple insight: A rapid replenishment system triggered by the customer would work in any retail format.

Book excerpt from Lean Solutions.

The consequence, in terms of performance, is remarkable. Total “touches” on the product (each of which involves costly human effort) have been reduced from 150 to 50. The total throughput time, from the filling line at the supplier to the customer leaving the store with the cola, has declined
from 20 days to five days.

And Tesco is moving into the United States retail market in the West Coast in 2007: Wal-Mart, Kroger, Safeway better watch out. The British are coming! by Parija Bhatnagar, CNNMoney.com “Tesco indicated that it will spend more than $400 million a year to build its U.S. stores. Langdoc estimates that the initial investment could pay for 100 to 150 stores.”

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