The retail shelf space planning problem has long been addressed by Marketing and Operations Research (OR) professionals and researchers, with the first empirical studies tracing back to the 1960s and the first modelling approaches back to the 1970s. Due to this long history, this field presents a wide range of different mathematical modelling approaches that deal with the decisions surrounding a set of products and not only define their space assignment and related quantity, but also their vertical and horizontal positioning within a retail shelf. These decisions affect customer demand, namely in the form of space- and position-dependent demand and replenishment requirements. Current literature provides either more comprehensive decision models with a wide range of demand effects but limited practical applicability, or more simplistic model formulations with greater practical application but limited consideration of the associated demand. Despite the recent progress seen in this research area, no work has yet systematised published research with a clear focus on shelf space planning. As a result, there is neither any up-to-date structured literature nor a unique model approach, and no benchmark sets are available. This paper provides a description and a state-of-the-art literature review of this problem, focusing on optimisation models. Based on this review, a classification framework is proposed to systematise the research into a set of sub-problems, followed by a unified approach with a univocal notation of model classes. Future lines of research point to the most promising open questions in this field.
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