The assortment available in a warehouse and in the retail trade is subdivided into the assortment dimensions assortment width and assortment depth. The assortment width describes the range of different merchandise, the assortment depth the variety of individual product groups.

If a warehouse/distribution center or retailer manages clothing, food, electrical goods and cosmetics, for example, the assortment dimension is broad. Department stores and discounters generally have such a broad assortment.

Range depth and range width in the retail trade

If the warehouse and the retail trade have a material group in different variations, this is referred to as a deep assortment. The best examples of this are a bakery or a fish shop. The many kinds of bread or fish make the mixture a deep offer. In addition to cod, salmon and perch, there is also smoked, pickled, Norwegian, Canadian, large and small cod.

As a rule, a wide range of cod is not available in very deep supply. A specialist retailer who specialises in certain product groups, on the other hand, does not offer too wide a range.

Nowadays, however, this has become more common in many areas. For example, in a fishmonger’s shop you often find more than just a deep fish assortment. Instead one finds there also bread, salad, oil and other Mediterranean goods. Many department stores and discounters also offer a certain depth of products. So you can not only buy cheap white wine, but the customer can choose from high quality and internationally known white wines.

Term extensions

In the commercial sector, the terms “narrow assortment” are also used for specialist and specialty shops which, for example, only stock men’s suits or children’s shoes and “flat assortment” for shops where there are different goods but only a few of them. At this point, for example, a street kiosk should be mentioned. It carries tobacco products, magazines and sweets, but only in small quantities.

Assortment dimension in intralogistics

If the assortment width is projected onto the intralogistics, this means a high picking effort for a warehouse. To control the assortment width within a warehouse, production logistics is necessary.

For more information on how the assortment of goods is structured, see Stock Management.

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