Journal of Retailing
Struggling retail chains often try to recover profitability by closing some of their stores. The challenge in this strategy lies in determining how many stores to close, as store exit has implications for both the customers and the supply chain. After a store closes, its customers are lost forever to the competition, unless there is a surviving open store nearby or an electronic alternative such as an e-store. From the supply chain perspective, after a store closes, its supporting regional distribution center is left with less business, and thus reduced viability. This paper develops a decision support model to study the profitability of alternative retail network structures by varying the proportion of stores that are closed, the average price sensitivity of demand, the price difference between the online store and the traditional retailers, and customer retention rates.