Out of stock is an inventory condition, stating that an item is not currently available for sale or use. An out of stock condition can cost a company a sale, so these items are usually closely monitored. When inventory is not available, a business may offer to sell a comparable item, or will backorder goods until they are available at a later date. An out of stock situation can arise in the following cases:
- An inadequate amount of safety stock has been included in the planning system
- Customer orders have been higher than expected
- There has been a delay in the receipt of a replenishment delivery from a supplier
- A business does not have sufficient funding to pay for an adequate stock of goods
- A business has discontinued an item, perhaps because the item is being replaced by a newer version
Out of stock is also known as a stockout.