State of the Retail Supply Chain Report (2020)

State of the Retail Supply Chain Report (2020)


Auburn University’s Center for Supply Chain Innovation, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), and DC Velocity are pleased to present the 2020 State of the Retail Supply Chain Report. This ninth annual installment of our study covers highly relevant topics that impact success or failure in the hyper-speed omnichannel retail environment.

Previous year’s studies have highlighted the rapid pace of change in retail supply chain, but the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 has shown us what a dynamic environment truly looks like. Retail supply chains were thrust into the spotlight, routinely covered on front pages and in the evening news. In this crucible, retailers have had to respond and pivot to a greater and faster degree than ever before—from non-discretionary retailers that experienced supply chain disruptions and unprecedented sales numbers, to discretionary retailers that found themselves compelled to close stores while homebound-consumers fueled dramatic e-commerce spikes.


  • Leading retailers are focusing their supply chain success around three areas: fulfillment automation, human capital, and digitizing their supply chain ecosystems.
  • 29% of supply chain executives survey identified hourly associate staffing as a key supply chain challenge over the next three years
  • 71% plan to invest more on technology upgrade and omni-capabilities compared to last year
  • 100% of supply chain executives believe robotics will change the way their company operates its supply chain
    • 95% feel the same way about machine learning
  • 95% of supply chain executives are thinking about, planning, or already deploying supply chain digitization initiatives.


For a free copy of the report, please complete the form below.

Retail Supply Chain Conference 2022

  • Feb 20 - Feb 23, 2022
  • Dallas, TX

RILA's Retail Supply Chain Conference is the only event of its kind - gathering top executives from leading retailers to network and learn.

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