Crain's Detroit Business: John Taylor on supply chain bullwhip effect

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Walk into a Target store and you're likely to find more toaster ovens and skateboards and wireless speakers than ever before. The nation's seventh-largest retailer is literally overflowing with inventory. Products on its shelves and in warehouses climbed 43 percent during the first quarter of 2022 over the same period last year, the company said in its earnings call earlier this month. As a result, Target vowed to lower prices and accept lower margins to clear its stores. "What's happened is just as predictable as the setting sun," said John Taylor, associate professor of supply chain management at Wayne State University. "It's the backside of the bullwhip. Demand keeps changing dramatically. We don't normally experience this many large changes and it's very hard to keep track of the demand signals."

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