Purchase and retrieval competition for seasonal produce

Jian Zhang, Shuang He, Juliang Zhang, T. C.Edwin Cheng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


We study the competition problem of purchase and multiretrieval of perishable seasonal produce, where wholesalers purchase and stock their products in the first period, and then retrieve and sell them in subsequent periods. We first consider the duopoly case and assume that the prices are exogenous and fluctuate. In each period, after the price realization, the wholesalers retrieve some stock from their warehouses to satisfy their demands. One wholesaler's unsatisfied customers can switch to another and be satisfied by its left retrieved products. Any unsold retrieved stock has no salvage value and any unsatisfied demand is lost. The unretrieved stock is carried to the next period at a perishable rate. The wholesalers compete for the substitute demand by determining their own purchase and retrieval quantities. We show the existence and uniqueness of a pure-strategy Nash equilibrium, and that the Nash equilibrium strategy has the simple “sell-down-to” structure. We also consider the general N-person game and show the existence of the Nash equilibrium, and characterize the structure of the equilibrium strategy for the symmetric case. In addition, we consider the case with endogenous prices, and show that the problem reduces to a repeated newsvendor game with price and inventory competition. We derive the conditions under which a unique Nash equilibrium exists and characterize the equilibrium strategy. Finally, we conduct numerical studies to examine the impacts of the model parameters on the equilibrium outcomes and to generate managerial insights.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-184
Number of pages24
JournalNaval Research Logistics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


  • game theory
  • inventory management
  • Nash equilibrium
  • seasonal produce

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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