module specification

MC5016 - Retail Supply Chain Management (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Retail Supply Chain Management
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
219 hours Guided independent study
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Group Presentation 20%   Group presentation 20-30 mins
Coursework 20%   Individual report based on assessment 1 1500 Words
Seen Examination 60%   Individual written exam (seen or unseen)
Running in 2017/18 No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module identifies and examines key issues in the management of operations in retail and aims to add a significant new body of knowledge in order to enhance students’ technical and managerial competence. In relation to employability, during the course of this module students are introduced to the critical competencies needed in sourcing suppliers and understanding supply chain management. The module integrates management techniques with the technologies that they control and places emphasis on strategic relevance of solutions.  Students are presented with a step-by-step guide to the field of supply management, emphasising the importance of a strategic approach to managing supply chains and networks in retail. Online and off-line supply chains are analysed during the course of the module. Students are presented with a detailed account of range of how to apply supply chain management theories in real life situations by means of weekly case studies of existing local and global retailers. Students are therefore expected to learn how to manipulate supply chain structures in order to gain competitive advantage in various industries and in relation to various types of product categories. Network models are introduced and emphasis will be placed on the role of supply chains in adding life-long customer value and sustainability. This module stands as a bridge, linking the knowledge acquired from Level 4’s Fashion Retailing and Fundamentals of Management module with the more advanced knowledge from the customer-centred modules at level 6, e.g. Customer Relationship Management. From example, as part of this module, students are introduced to the principles of developing individual supply chain solutions for respective customer segments. A number of sessions are dedicated to supply chain management trends and to topical issues in global retailing. This core module combines practical case studies and academic research papers.

Module aims

Purchasing and logistics have traditionally been considered tactical, even clerical functions within an organisation. However, lately supply chain management is considered to be a strategic activity, often conducted by external consultants, which manages supplier relationships, enables supply chain/network innovation, reduces cost, and mitigates impact from/on the external environment. As skillsets such as: supply chain management  are recognised as one of the cornerstones of 21st century competitive advantage, this emerging field increasingly attracts considerable interest from both industry practice and more theoretical, academic research. Therefore the overall objective of this module is to prepare students in terms of what to expect as a supply chain manager, whether working for a large organisation or owning their small business. It introduces the main theories of supply chain management with application to the retail industry. It also considers the management of virtual elements in supply chains.

The principal aims of this core module are to assist students in developing an understanding of:
- the nature, scope and structure of physical retail supply chains
- the main theories related to supply chain structures, models, and respective technologies
- the role of supply chains in adding value to international customers and shareholders
- the main skills required to manage a retail supply chain

Skills expected to develop within the module include:  analytical; problem solving; numeracy; planning & organising; creativity; decision making; cooperating; verbal, written and visual communication as well as evaluation in sourcing, negotiating, relationships development and management.  The module also aims to equip students with soft skills such as communication, time management, teamwork, goal setting, mental agility, flexibility and work ethics, necessary in fashion retail organisation.


- Introduction to supply chain management
- Structure of the retail supply chain management; small vs large retailers
- Market driven supply chains vs demand chain management
- M-commerce and e-commerce in fashion supply chain
- Supply chain performance: achieving strategic fit and scope
- Supply chain drivers and metrics 
- Technology and logistics used in supply chain
- Demand forecasting in a supply chain 
- Sales and operations planning: planning supply and demand in a supply chain
- Fast fashion business model
- Inventory decision, management and optimal pricing; revenue management
- Strategic partnerships in supply
- Mechanisms for preventing loss of customers in supply chain
- Manufacturers and retailers models in fashion
- Mass customisation implementation model
- Elite/exclusive luxury supply chain
- Managing economies of scale in a supply chain
- Socially responsible fashion supply chain (CSR)
- The role of supply chains in adding value to customers
- Developing individual retail supply chain solutions for respective customer segments
- Risk analysis in supply chain management
- Innovation in fashion supply chain
- Global supply chain management
- Trends; the era of network competition
- Critical skills needed to manage a retail supply chain.

Learning and teaching

The module is delivered over a 30 week period and consists of 1.5 hour lectures and 1.5 hour seminars each week. Exceptions to this are the designated employability week and teaching weeks: 13 and 28 (where week 1 is the first teaching week of the academic year) which are used for research and preparation for examinations.

The module is delivered via lectures and seminars.  Supporting material is made available via Weblearn, which facilitates a blended learning approach to include wider reading and other materials to support the syllabus. The seminars  serve to anchor knowledge imparted in the lectures and provides a forum for:

  • A better understanding of lectures through small group discussions, case study/ journal article/problem solving analysis and interchange of questions and answers.
  • Assist students in relating their knowledge to the fashion retailing discipline and profession
  • Applied understanding of technical skills required for carrying out research in order to assist in employability skills for future careers in fashion retailing. Students will need to consider this aspect of the module as part of their personal development and be able to produce examples in a portfolio of the research skills for a future employer.

In addition, the seminars incorporate summative and formative feedback in order for students to have an opportunity to reflect upon and evaluate their performance.

Activity Week – usually Week 7 (where week 1 is the first teaching week of the academic year)
Activity week 7 will be used to stimulate ideas and activities for students from different subject groups taking this module to enhance PDP.  Activities will allow students to further develop creativity, critical thinking and problem solving.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the module students will be able to:

1. Exhibit an understanding of the main structures, processes and models of supply chain management applied to the retail industry;
2. Appreciate the role of supply chains in creating customer and shareholder added-value;
3. Demonstrate an understanding of the topical issues in supply chain theory and practice;
4. Understand the type of knowledge and skills required to manage any supply chain.

Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy consists of three components, which aim to assess the module’s learning outcomes. These assessments require students to think critically and apply the knowledge gained during the module.  The deadlines are set based on Week 1 being the first teaching week of the academic year)

  1. a 20-30 mins group presentation; weighing 20%; weeks due: 6-25
  2. an individual 1500 words report based on assessment 1; weighing 20% ; weeks due: 7-26 
  3. individual written exam of 3 hours; weighing 60%; Week due 30

1) Group presentation (3-4 students max):
Students are required to work in groups of 3-4 for this presentation. Each group should address a specific aspect of retail supply chain management which relates to the previous two weeks’ lecture material. Therefore this assessment runs as rolling presentations.  The aim is for the presentations to be a student lead activity to allow groups of students to investigate specific aspects of retail supply chain management in more detail and share their knowledge with colleagues. This has been designed to be a learning tool for both the presenters and the audience. Students are expected to consider wider implications of supply chain management e.g. legislation, regulation and codes of practice, ethics. Each presentation is marked out of 20%. Each presentation should last up to 30 minutes. Weeks due: 6-25. This group presentation is complemented by an individual report, detailed in assessment 2 (below). Learning outcomes assessed: 1,2,4.

2) Individual Report
One week after their presentations, each student is required to submit a 1500 word report detailing the answers to the group presentation questions and providing in-depth evidence of individual secondary research. Whilst assessment one (group presentation) may well focus on applying theory to practice and taking the audience through a range of examples of companies, markets, retail sectors in order to showcase the practical understanding of the theory presented, the individual report will concentrate on the theoretical underpinning and may be rather limited in terms of examples. Research must cover textbooks as well as journal articles, trade magazines and other reliable web sources so that individuals are able to demonstrate in-depth/advanced grasp of the theoretical framework supporting the presentation material. Referencing must be carried out using the Harvard System. Each report is marked out of 20%. Weeks due: 7-26. Learning outcomes assessed: 1,2.

3) Individual written examination (seen or unseen)
In order to facilitate incremental learning, students’ understanding of retail supply chain management is tested through a final individual examination. The purpose of the examination is to assess students’ depth, breadth, knowledge and understanding of selected core retail supply chain management theories indicated by the tutor during the course of the module.  Weighting: 60%, 3 hours, Week due: 30. Learning outcomes assessed: 3,4.


Oliveira, A. and Gimeno, A. (2014) Customer Service Supply Chain Management: Models for Achieving Customer Satisfaction, Supply Chain Performance and Shareholder Value, Pearson Education Ltd
Leon, S.M. (2014) Sustainability in Supply Chain Management Casebook: Applications in SCM, Pearson Education Ltd
Hollensen, S. (2014) Global Marketing, 6th edition, Pearson Education Ltd
Chopra, S. (2013) Supply Chain Management: Global Edition, 5th edition, Pearson Education Ltd
Schniederjans, M.J. and LeGrand, S.B. (2013) Reinventing the Supply Chain Life Cycle, Student Workbook, Financial Times Press
Berman B.R. & Evans (2013) Retail Management: A Strategic Approach, 12th edition Prentice Hall
Meise, J.N., Rudolph, T., Gisholt, O., Bendixen, A., Fjeldstad, T., Clement, J. and Nordfalt, J. (2013) Fundamentals of Retailing and Shopper Marketing, Pearson Education Ltd
Farrington, B. (2012) Purchasing and Supply Chain Management, 8th edition, Pearson Education Ltd
Bozarth, C. and Handfield, R.B. (2012) Introduction to Operations and Supply Chain Management: International Edition, 3rd edition, Pearson Higher Education
International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management
International Journal of Supply Chain Management
International Journal of Sales, Retailing and Marketing
Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management
European Journal of Operational Research
International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management
Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply:
Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport:
Supply Chain Digest: