Managing in-store logistics: a fresh perspective on retail service

O. Bouzaabia, A.C.R. van Riel*, J. Semeijn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

20 Citations (Web of Science)


Purpose - Traditional retailers still insist on using price, product, and promotion as sources of competitive advantage. This emphasis typically ignores the potential of in-store logistics operations in the creation of customer value. A major objective of retail customers is to navigate the retail servicescape in an efficient, convenient, enjoyable and effective manner. In-store logistics operations largely determine how and to what extent the customer may achieve this objective. However, customer-perceived indicators of in-store logistics performance, such as product returns, order information, opening hours, and product availability and accessibility, have been largely ignored in research on retail service. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of in-store logistics in determining customer outcomes such as store image, satisfaction and loyalty intentions. Design/methodology/approach - A model is developed based on extant research in the areas of logistics service quality, service logic, store image, and customer loyalty. To test the plausibility of the model, 200 supermarket customers were surveyed in an exploratory field study. Data were analyzed by means of structural equation modeling in SmartPLS. Findings - Results show that customers may derive a substantial share of their satisfaction from interactions with in-store logistics operations. Customer-perceived performance of these operations - an important element of the retail servicescape - influences customer satisfaction directly, but also through its influence on store image. Research limitations/implications - In-store logistics dimensions were identified based on exploratory research. A more structured, theory-driven approach, might yield further insight. Explained variance levels in the outcome variables point at unobserved influences. Future research into the drivers of retail experience satisfaction could further complete the picture. Originality/value - From a customer perspective, the paper investigates in-store logistics performance and its effects on customer outcomes in a field study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-129
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Service Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • In-store logistics
  • Retailing
  • Store image
  • Logistics-marketing interface
  • Service quality
  • Supermarkets
  • Customer satisfaction

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