Related to inventory management or accounting.

Suppose I have a warehouse, and I have some goods in it. Then I need to either sell, discard or otherwise expend them.

Now I need to indicate in my books that these goods are not going to be available any more. They are leaving the warehouse.

What is this action called in English? What typical expressions or idioms convey this action?

  • 1
    You mean out of stock? : lacking a supply of, especially temporarily: We are out of stock in this item.
    – user66974
    Apr 27 '15 at 12:26
  • You could also simply say "[The items] are no longer stocked" or "[The items] have been removed from inventory."
    – Robusto
    Apr 27 '15 at 12:27
  • I'm interested in the verb. I need to do something so that these goods are now no longer available. I need to make them not available. I am removing them from the warehouse. I can't think of a way to say this. Apr 27 '15 at 12:31
  • 1
    Probably destock: (COMMERCE) to reduce the amount of stock (= goods kept available to sell), or the amount of materials for making new products: Retailers will be destocking previous versions of the product in the months before the new version is launched.
    – user66974
    Apr 27 '15 at 12:36
  • Hi, every so often I go through posts which have "How do you call....?" or "How is/are ______ called?" in their questions or titles. See the discussion in this post: “How do we call (something) in English?” Would you mind editing your body question to What is this action ....?" Thanks!
    – Mari-Lou A
    Apr 13 '16 at 12:39

I think you're talking about "picking" stock. I can't find a good reference for this sense of the verb "to pick" yet, but will keep looking.

Where I work, if stock has been "picked" for one order, it is no longer available for another order, even though it is still sitting on the shelf. It is not necessarily a physical movement of stock, but a matter of allocating stock to an order.

If an order is cancelled, the stock is then "unpicked" and is now available again.

  • In the warehouse I work for, goods still on the shelf are allocated to an order, then they're picked, and when the goods have left the building [or, at least, are on a pallet waiting to go out], they're marked despatched. Apr 28 '15 at 8:30
  • The people that actually work in the warehouse here may use those terms too, as far as I know. My answer was based on eaves-dropping the Sales Order Processing team who sit near me. They 'pick' stock from suitable batches to fulfil the orders, and 'unpick' them on a distressingly regular basis when they're reminded to look at the batch numbers and dates first :-) Apr 28 '15 at 8:33

If you mean to say it will no longer be available in the future (permanently), I'd use to discontinue

It expresses lack of availability, rather than the actual removal of the product from an inventory list.


cease from doing or providing (something), especially something that has been provided on a regular basis."The ferry service was discontinued by the proprietors"

stop making (a particular product)."Their current top-of-the-range running shoe is being discontinued"

Synonyms: stop, end, terminate, bring to an end, put an end to, put a stop to, wind up, finish, bring to a halt, call a halt to, cancel, drop, dispense with, do away with, get rid of, abolish;

More: suspend, interrupt, break off, phase out, withdraw; abandon, give up, cease, refrain from; informalcut, pull the plug on, axe, scrap, give something the chop, knock something on the head, leave off, pack in; informalquit;


"the ferry service was discontinued"

no longer available, no longer produced, no longer manufactured; obsolete, no longer in existence "a discontinued product"

antonyms: continue, new cease taking (a newspaper or periodical) or paying (a subscription).

Edit Reference added

  • No, they are not going to be removed permanently. I mean normal warehouse operations when some goods enter the warehouse, then become out of stock, then are restocked. Apr 27 '15 at 12:35
  • Then "out of stock" is the correct phrasing (at least the one I'd use)
    – Flater
    Apr 27 '15 at 12:36
  • Slight edit: "out of stock" applies if it will be back in when available. If you e.g. decide to keep it out of the warehouse for three months regardless of when it can be restocked, I'd say "temporarily discontinued". It depends on availability being the deciding factor.
    – Flater
    Apr 27 '15 at 12:37
  • But how would I say "Get these things from the store, place them somewhere else, then record the change in availability"? Apr 27 '15 at 12:45
  • 1
    @Escape Velocity: so you are asking how, in the software, to reflect the fact that the items are no longer available. I would say "decrement quantity-on-hand". But if you need to reference individual items by unique serial number, then the issue is more complicated.
    – TRomano
    Apr 27 '15 at 12:57

How about de-inventory?


: to keep an available supply of (merchandise); stock.

Random House

Spiceworks keeps de-inventorying computers



You are liquidating your warehouse. It is intrinsic that items will no longer be available from said warehouse and any that were have been redistributed.

In United Kingdom law and business, liquidation is the process by which a company (or part of a company) is brought to an end, and the assets and property of the company are redistributed. –Wiki

Everything must go! Liquidation sale!

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.