Consumers don't care about your inventory control problems or faulty stocking systems. If your store shelves are bare, it’s a good bet that your cash register receipts will follow suit. According to a new survey, nearly 70 percent of U.S. adults would avoid shopping at a retail store if they encountered empty shelves.
The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Galleria Retail Technology Solutions, also found that women are more likely than men to say empty shelves would cause them to avoid shopping at a given store. The survey polled 1,012 adults 18 and older on retail store loyalty.
Empty shelves aren't the only shopper turn-off, the survey found. Nearly 2 out of 3 U.S. adults would shun a retail store because of long checkout lines, desired items out of stock or difficulty finding desired items.
"As we approach Black Friday and the holiday shopping season, retailers need to note that making sure their shelves are fully stocked is critical when it comes to retaining loyal customers," said Bryan Eckhoff, Galleria's EVP of sales and account management for North America. "The cost of empty shelves can be extremely high. Out-of-stocks can force consumers to migrate from a particular store, risking the loss of the value of an entire shopper’s basket, not just one product. Consistent out-of-stocks may force the permanent loss of that customer.
Statistics have shown that it costs five times more to obtain a new customer than to retain an existing customer, according to Galleria.
"In the current U.S. economic climate when consumers are more cost-conscious than ever, retailers should make every effort to ensure they have the right products, in the right place at the right time to keep their customers happy…and coming back," Eckhoff said.
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Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.