Title: Inventory management research for the fashion industry

Authors: Bin Shen; Hau-Ling Chan; Pui-Sze Chow; Kristin A. Thoney-Barletta

Addresses: Glorious Sun School of Business and Management, Donghua University, Shanghai, 210005, China ' Institute of Textiles and Clothing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong ' School of Management, Centennial College, The University of Hong Kong, 3 Wah Lam Path, Pokfulam, Hong Kong ' College of Textiles, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA

Abstract: Fashion products have a short-life-cycle with highly volatile demand uncertainty. This uncertainty leads to challenges in managing inventory, as matching supply and demand is always difficult in the fashion industry. In this paper, we review the recent literature on fashion industry inventory management. We classify the extant literature by four widely-used research methodologies, including analytical, empirical, case study and simulation approaches. We identify that inventory ownership, information technology, and incentive schemes for increasing inventory efficiency are the key factors to enhance inventory management in the fashion industry. We propose that inventory management of luxury fashion, sustainability in inventory, and empirical and case study approaches are the most important directions for future research.

Keywords: fashion industry; inventory management; literature review; volatile demand; demand uncertainty; inventory ownership; information technology; incentive schemes; inventory efficiency; luxury fashion; inventory sustainability.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIR.2016.082325

International Journal of Inventory Research, 2016 Vol.3 No.4, pp.297 - 317

Received: 08 Feb 2016
Accepted: 24 Feb 2016

Published online: 17 Feb 2017 *

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