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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues
Research
Nov 14, 2014

Managing the Impact of Fitting-Room Traffic on Retail Sales: Using Labor to Reduce Phantom Stockouts

Abstract

Problem definition: Brick-and-Mortar (B&M) retailers must enhance the customer in-store experience to better compete with online retailers. Fitting rooms in B&M stores play a critical role in the customer experience as a venue to experience products and examine alternatives. High traffic in fitting rooms, however, obstructs the customer’s ability to choose a product. In this paper, we (1) examine the impact of fitting-room traffic on store performance using archival data, (2) identify phantom stockouts as a plausible mechanism for this impact, and (3) provide a potential solution and quantify the magnitude of its impact using two field experiments.

Note: Research papers posted on SSRN, including any findings, may differ from the final version chosen for publication in academic journals.


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