Last edited 14 Jun 2021


In its broadest sense, stock refers to products, goods or materials kept on a premises for sale, distribution or some other use.

However, stock can also refer to all of the shares into which the ownership of a company might be divided.

It can also refer to the total number of something, such as the housing stock.

Safety in the storage and handling of steel and other metal stock, second edition, published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in August 2016, defines stock as: ‘Steel or other metal in its raw material form used for manufacture of metal products. In this guidance, it refers to the common forms of steel stock: long product, coil and sheet. It does not include wire or other specialised metal products.’

The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) Glossary of procurement terms, defines stock as: ‘Goods, products or materials held for future use or supply, often called inventory.’

It defines a stocktake as: 'The process of physically counting products in a warehouse to match them to the computerized inventory.'

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