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This research aimed at adding to the existing inventory of literature in the arena of procurement management to find out the role of supplier base rationalisation in operational performance in the retail sector in Zimbabwe. A cross-industry survey of retail supermarkets in Zimbabwe was done. A supplier base rationalisation key variables model incorporating five variables that are, the twenty/eighty rule, improve or else approach triage approach, competency staircase approach and spend categorization was tested in operational performance in Zimbabwe’s retail sector. Research variables were discussed under the conceptual underpinning. The target population constitutes of retail supermarkets employees involved in procurement operation with a sample size of 59 procurement practitioners using Krejcie and Morgan  formula. Purposive sampling was carried out. The research instruments that were used are close-ended questionnaires to all procurement practitioners in the retail sector and open-ended interviews with procurement managers only. Data collected were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistical tools and Statistical Package for Social Science software (SPSS) version 24 was used to process the collected data and presented in tables. Correlation analysis indicated that 76.2% of the change of operational performance was explained by the five supplier base rationalisation variables and revealed that they have a positive significant effect in operational performance. This research recommends that the procurement should move towards overall effective and efficient supplier base rationalisation practices that focus on boosting operational performance.
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