Book Chapter

Urban Logistics and Retailing



Sparks L (2023) Urban Logistics and Retailing. In: The Routledge Handbook of Urban Logistics. Routledge International Handbooks. Routledge, pp. 121-133.

Retailing logistics has become a highly sophisticated operation over recent decades, attempting to match supply and demand whilst reducing costs. Pressures on urban systems and complications of urban delivery to stores, linked to trends for fast fashion, online sales and omni-channel retailing have increased and added costs and complexity. Concerns over the environmental impact of fashion and retail logistics and recent disruptions to supply chains (such as Brexit, COVID-19, the war in Ukraine and shipping, energy prices and labour shortages) have further pressured retail systems. Retail logistics generally and urban retail logistics specifically have thus begun to be re-assessed. Retailers’ aim has been to produce a more efficient and effective supply of products to stores and customers and thus enhance the customer experience and in turn increase sales, satisfaction and consumer loyalty. This has resulted in a transformation of approach and operations in retailing, and especially in their supply chains. The transport issues of urban areas in particular have come more into focus and so urban retail logistics has become more significant. This chapter considers these issues. It begins with a review of logistics and supply chain management and a focus on retail logistics and supply chains. This is followed by a consideration of the main practical issues that have emerged in recent years. The final section provides a consideration of the implications of these recent changes and trends, with a focus on the future shape of urban retail logistics.

StatusIn Press
Title of seriesRoutledge International Handbooks
Publication date online23/06/2023
Publisher URL…67347.1683417600

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Professor Leigh Sparks

Professor Leigh Sparks

Deputy Principal