The purpose of this new EURO Working Group on Retail Operations (denoted as EWG on Retail Ops) is to advance the development and application of Operations Research (OR) methods, techniques and tools in the field of Retail Operations. This EURO Working Group will support both academic and applied research.

Retail operations emerged as a substantial and important area of research in recent years. There are several drivers of this advent. Retailing is a large and growing sector of the economy in most countries, both developing and developed. It is a dynamic sector in which changes in markets, firms, and products occur rapidly. Internet retailing changes the operational requirements and competitive landscape. Recent research in retailing has discovered new applications, contexts, and theory, which promise a fertile ground for operations management researchers for many years to come. Further, Retail Operations has unique elements, such as multi-channel operations, assortment planning, shelf-space allocation, and store execution that are different from issues faced by other players in the supply chain. Furthermore, the direct customer interaction requires different models that also take into account the consumer interaction.

The continued development of OR-models, their practical need, and the growing availability of data motivates an increasing number of scientists and practitioners to intensify research on demand and supply-related issues in retail and consumer goods industries. The primary aim of this EWG is to bring together these people and to discuss the recent developments in OR solutions for demand and supply management in Retail Operations. The EWG on Retail Ops is particularly interested in contributions concerned with quantitative analysis, OR applications and decision support systems for the retail and consumer goods industry. Topics should be based on the industry background of retail or consumer goods.

It seems to be the appropriate moment for the OR community to profit from a formal forum where members could discuss their ideas and foster collaborative work in retail operations.

EWG on Retail Ops gathers practitioners, OR researchers and OR educators with interests in the area of Retail Operations and related topics.