Reducing Shrinkage and Stockouts in a Food Retail Store

A Portuguese Case Study


  • Pedro Alexandre Marques EIGeS – Research Centre in Industrial Engineering, Management and Sustainability
  • André Mendes de Carvalho EIGeS – Research Centre in Industrial Engineering, Management and Sustainability


Lean thinking, Out-of-stocks, Retail, Shrinkage rate, Structured problem-solvng


Lean thinking is transforming the traditional way of a retail business operates to new and more effective practices. In particular, the food retail business is facing previously unseen challenges which require daily operational excellence to meet them with success. Low productivity, high variability in task completion, lack of work planning should be faced with daily relentless improvement actions. Kaizen, the continuous improvement pillar of Lean, needs to be seen not only as a methodology but also as a philosophy, a vision that needs to be written on everyday actions and personified by each individual. This paper describes an improvement event in the fresh food markets, specifically in the cold meat section, meant to decrease the shrinkage rate as well as the number of out-of-stock (OOS) situations. The methodology adopted followed the seven-step problem-solving procedure provided by the A3 thinking tool.

Author Biographies

Pedro Alexandre Marques, EIGeS – Research Centre in Industrial Engineering, Management and Sustainability

EIGeS – Research Centre in Industrial Engineering, Management
and Sustainability, Lusófona University. Campo Grande 376,
1749-024 Lisbon. Portugal.

André Mendes de Carvalho, EIGeS – Research Centre in Industrial Engineering, Management and Sustainability

EIGeS – Research Centre in Industrial Engineering, Management
and Sustainability, Lusófona University. Campo Grande 376,
1749-024 Lisbon. Portugal


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