Postponement strategies are becoming increasingly important in light of a global trend in which products’ life-cycles are decreasing, such that even products that are not traditionally considered seasonal become “obsolete” within a short period of time (e.g., electronic devices, new cars). Our work addresses postponed-pricing and ordering decisions for a retailer who sells a newsvendor-type inventoried product, in a selling season that is divided into two sub-periods. The division of the selling season enables the retailer to on-line adjust her decisions when faced with a scenario (one that is highly prevalent in reality) in which potential demand changes (increases or decreases) following consumers’ experiences of the product in early stages of the selling season. We assume that the retailer has two opportunities for receiving shipments: prior to the first sub-period and prior to the second one. The retailer determines each order quantity (base-stock level) on the basis of the demand distribution for the corresponding sub-period. In each sub-period, after observing additional market signals, the retailer determines the price of the product for that sub-period. With the aid of a stochastic programming approach, we develop optimization problems and solution methods in order to obtain pricing and ordering decisions that maximize the expected profit of the retailer. We present an extensive numerical example that compares the suggested strategy to three alternative strategies, and conclude that price postponement and responsiveness to demand changes can each reduce leftovers and lost sales as well as substantially increase expected profit.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.
- Newsvendor problem
- Price postponement
- Revenue management
- Stochastic programming
- Two-opportunity ordering and pricing problem