What is Rocket Science Retailing? – Definition and Examples

In the past retailing was considered an art. However, retailers today are analyzing large amount of data they gather on consumer purchases and preferences in making decisions and understand customer needs better. This gives the retailers the ability to respond and execute supply chain decisions better, align incentives within the organization and also explain the changes to the investors. In their book, The New Science of Retailing, HBS professor Ananth Raman and Wharton professor Marshall Fisher call this rocket science retailing, similar to the Wall Street transformation in the 70s era when physicists and rocket scientists applied their analytic skills to investment decisions.

Examples of Rocket Science Retailing

Borders Group, the book and music retailer uses past sales data to tailor the product collection in its stores. Zara, the fashion apparel retailer gathers sales trend information from store flows on a daily basis for developing new fashion lines, change existing products and decide the prices.