They can’t call it “inventory” because they don’t have a physical place where they keep their inventory. They have to call it “stock” or “inventory”. If the industry calls it “stock” it has a different connotation from a grocery store which can be called “food” or “supplies”.
So I’m going to call this inventory the “supply chain” and this stock the “stock”. I’m going to go to the grocery store and buy some milk. I’m going to get some milk and call it stock. I can sell stock and call it inventory, but if I’m a manager at a grocery store I can’t call stock inventory.
In general, we tend to use inventory when we talk about things that are bought and sold individually between people. The inventory is the physical place where the things are kept, but we also use it to describe the people who keep the things.
If you’ve ever been to a grocery store or an airport, you’ve probably noticed that the “inventory” or “stock” category gets a lot of flak from the people who run the place. I don’t mean to be rude, but the people who run the place have probably been trained a bit too well and they seem to think that when you sell something that is already stocked, you’ve just created inventory.
If you take inventory of your own stuff, you’ll see that youve used the word inventory a few times already. So I’m not going to add a new one to the list.
Inventory is one of the four big categories of inventory management. You’ve probably heard about it already, but its worth repeating. You can’t sell anything except for your inventory in any store, or an airport. You can’t sell anything except for your inventory at an airport. You can’t sell anything except for your inventory at a store unless you’ve got a very special license.
So if you have a big inventory of expensive stuff, like jewelry or cars, you can sell (a) your stuff legally in a store or (b) you can sell it on the open market, but you can’t sell it unless you have a license to do so. If you need to sell it at a store then all you need to do is show it to the manager who will give you a license to do so.
If you need to sell stuff at a store, you need to have a license from the store. If you need to sell on the open market, you need to pass a physical exam where the manager will tell you the rules to follow. In either case you need to show the license and exam to the managers.
The point of licenses is to prevent fraud and keep the legal system honest. If a company wants to sell to a store, they need a license. If they want to sell to an open market, they need to have one.