Rate this Content (5 Being the Best)
By Nicole Giannopoulos
In retail, merchandising is defined as the planning and promotion of sales by presenting a product to the right market at the proper time, by carrying out advertising and using attractive displays. However, with retail expanding to multiple channels, the role of merchandising must expand, going beyond stimulating customers to make a purchase. Today, merchandising solutions must incorporate the proper functions required to manage each emerging channel.
This month’s RetailScape focuses on data-driven merchandising solutions that provide real-time results that can be acted upon, rather than reacted to. These targeted and end-to-end solutions cover merchandise planning, store planning, assortment planning and allocation/replenishment. RIS lists some of the major merchandising vendors as well as highlights of recent news and deployments.
Western gear chain Boot Barn of Irvine, CA wanted a better handle on its inventory and sales. The 80-store chain in the Southwestern and Western U.S. installed an integrated solution from Epicor with planning, merchandising analytics, sales, audit, loss prevention, flash sales, CRM modules and replenishment capabilities.
The company hired a director of planning in order to take full advantage of the new information, which allows the retailer to better understand the uniqueness of each location and plan receipt flows appropriately. The new store planning process enables Boot Barn to get out in front of sales. The tools in the integrated solution also recommend when Boot Barn should begin the sell-down process by location.
IBM acquired DemandTec in a merger agreement for $440 million. The acquisition extended IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiative by adding cloud-based price, promotion and merchandising and marketing analytics. DemandTec’s retail portfolio includes grocery, drug, convenience, consumer electronics, office supplies, apparel, department stores and quick-serve restaurants.
The Dune Group, a U.K. fashion footwear retailer with more than 200 locations across the U.K. and Europe, has selected Island Pacific Mobile for use within its retail stores. The retailer uses the Island Pacific solutions across its retail, Web, mail order, international and wholesale channels for the management of stock.
The Island Pacific Mobile application will be used on iPod touch devices and will allow Dune store associates to better share product information and availability with customers from the website or another store.
Five Below, a specialty value retailer offering a broad range of trend-right merchandise targeted at the teen and pre-teen customer, has deployed JustEnough Software’s Merchandise Financial Planning solution.
The retail planning solutions help companies to effectively manage the entire merchandise and assortment planning process from financial open-to-buy plans through to the lowest level of product and store planning.
Manthan has released ARC Store Operations software to take the power of BI and Retail Analytics to the store floor, with an application that is designed for store managers, district and regional managers, and store associates. Available for iPads, smartphones or desktops, ARC Store Operations allows for better decision-making on the store floor, improving store performance and profitability, while increasing customer satisfaction.
Retail Suite Rollout
Everything But Water, a swimwear and resortwear retailer with 65 stores nationwide, has deployed MI9 Business Intelligence and is beginning implementation of MI9 Merchant merchandising and MI9 Retail Hub real-time data delivery systems. The retailer also announced its purchase of the MI9 Store point-of-sale and back office solution. Everything But Water will be positioned to use the entire fully integrated MI9 Intelligent Retail Suite of products.
“I am very pleased with the performance of MI9 Business Intelligence and am looking forward to beginning our second phase of conversion to MI9 solutions,” said Randall Blumenthal, chairman of Everything But Water. “We plan to implement MI9 Merchant, MI9 Retail Hub, and MI9 Store, and therefore have all of our vital systems on the same platform communicating in real time.”
A Sound Foundation
As part of its transformation initiatives, JCPenney will implement an open, integrated suite of Oracle Retail solutions designed to streamline retail operations and improve the cross-channel customer experience. The department store retailer will deploy applications in critical areas including merchandising, supply chain and store operations.
JCPenney will use the Oracle Retail applications for merchandising operations management, merchandise planning and optimization, supply chain planning and retail stores, as well as the Oracle Retail Merchandising Analytics application, which delivers BI via mobile technology on item and category performance.
“We need an IT foundation that delivers real-time, mobile access to accurate information throughout the organization,” said JCPenney CTO Kristen Blum in a statement. “We selected Oracle based on its deep retail functionality and the fact that it is proven to handle the volumes of transaction, customer and business data generated by a large organization.”
The new implementation builds on JCPenney’s existing deployment of Oracle Commerce, Oracle Database and several components of Oracle Fusion Middleware as well as the Oracle E-Business Suite and Oracle’s PeopleSoft and Hyperion Performance Management applications.
Urban Outfitters has implemented the QuantiSense Decision Orchestration Platform, which includes QuantiSense Merchandising, Direct and Store Ops, for its retail brands, including Anthropologie, Free People and Urban Outfitters. The system combines business intelligence, data warehousing and retail analytics, using executive dashboards and personalized Retail Scorebooks and Retail Playbooks.
“In today’s fast-paced and competitive market, access to timely and accurate information is critical,” said Calvin Hollinger, chief information and logistics officer at Urban Outfitters. “QuantiSense will be at the core of our next generation BI systems, providing a shared platform across all our brands and channels that will enable us to make more informed decisions.”
Precision Retailing is SAP’s new cloud-based enterprise solution, powered by SAP HANA, that helps retailers influence consumer shopping behavior at the point of decision – the store. The solution combines information stored in back-end systems, such as consumer profiles, preferences, purchase history, with real-time data about the consumer’s current shopping context (who, where, when, what) to deliver one-to-one personalized offers in real time to buyers.
The international lingerie brand Hunkemöller has streamlined its merchandise and assortment planning process across its 500 stores in 14 countries with Torex Merchandise Planning. The retailer selected Merchandise planning because of its ability to expand merchandising functionality while supporting Hunkemöller’s growth strategy.
Enhancing functionality to its Merchant solution, UTC has added Gift Registry and Visions as well as included a retail business analytics tool, Merchant Cross Channel (MCC). This tool is an API solution that provides other third party solutions with real-time access to Merchant’s business functionality through a Web service interface.
|RETAILSCAPE: DATA-DRIVEN MERCHANDISING PLATFORMS VENDORS
The chart below is a comparison guide of product specifications and functionalities in a specific category to help retailers begin their search for vendors in the RFP process. The chart is not a comprehensive resource. Please visit vendor web sites for further information.
Company Name/Web Site
|Category Optimization integrates strategic assortment, space optimization and supply chain planning to maximize category performance; also helps optimize the category management process.
• Coca Cola
|IBM DemandTec solutions help retailers make revolutionary decisions across assortment, pricing, promotion, and marketing activities and include Lifecycle Price Management, End to End Promotion Management, Assortment Optimization and Shopper Insights.
|Cardinal MaX online Mobile Marketing and Commerce platform includes a Mobile Site Builder, Mobile Payment and Wallet solutions, alert subscription and keyword/response generation, Mobile Gifting and Loyalty and Mobile Banking. It is integrated with 5 gift card and loyalty platforms to mobilize existing programs.
||• Home Shopping Network
• Green Dot
• Wine Enthusiasts
|Retail Merchandising optimizes asset management with data, inventory and PO management, allocation and replenishment and analytics. It produces accurate inventory models that maximize sales while minimizing risks.
||• Boot Barn
• Simply Fashions
• Bikini Village
|Planning includes Merchandise, Store and Assortment Planning. Features include customizable workflows, measures, templates, store-grading, option planning with images and product information.
• Sur la Table
• The Dune Group
|WinRetail provides critical information with Open to Buy, Purchase Orders Management, Distribution and an Alerts feature that pushes data to e-mail or text message when critical events occur.
||• Coleman Outlet Stores
• Rag & Bone
• Coca Cola Stores
|Vision Merchandising provides retailers with the tools to manage complex business processes while delivering realtime information. Exception-based analysis helps retailers maximize profits, increase turnover, reduce costs, automate processes and negotiate more effectively with suppliers.
||• Puma AG
|JunctionMC is a solution set integrated into Microsoft Dynamics AX for multi-channel retailers with high volume supply chains. Features include cross-channel retail capability, supply chain management, customer service, merchandising, continuity sales and order fulfillment.
||• Fanatics Inc.
• Royal Canadian Mint
|JustEnough for Retail helps to plan better assortments, allocate products to the optimal stores, plan markdown strategies, maximize promotions and replenish inventory with accuracy.
||• Kenneth Cole
• Levi Strauss
• Restoration Hardware
|ARC Merchandising Analytics and Store (ARC MA) includes pre-built interactive dashboards, analytical views, alerts, reports and role-tailored guided analytics. ARC provides insights into product and store performance, customer preferences, and promotional effectiveness.
• Love's Travel Stops
|MI9 Merchant delivers operations, finance, warehouses, stores and marketing functionalities, and integrates with Business Intelligence.
||• Aubuchon Hardware
• Eileen Fisher
|Retail Merchandise Planning and Optimization solutions integrate Oracle and non-Oracle systems across the organization, helping business groups collaborate effectively and efficiently to meet strategic business targets.
||• Abercrombie & Fitch
• New Look
|The Predictix Suite of Cloud 2.0 merchandising applications has been designed for Big Data power and flexibility of the cloud. It includes forecasting, planning, assortment, pricing, promotions and replenishment.
|Q Suite includes Q Merchandising, Q Localized Assortment, Q Store Ops, Q Mobile and Q Direct. The QuantiSense Decision Orchestration Platform combines BI with industry best practices for profitable merchandising and store operations decisions.
• Foot Locker
• Hudson Bay
|Visual Merchandising Manager (VMM) is a Web-based solution that helps corporate marketing departments deliver directives on where, when and how to place collateral within a retail location. It provides localization and execution, resulting in the most optimized in-store experience.
|SAP Merchandising (part of the SAP for Retail portfolio) gives corporate and store-level locations, Web channels and trading partners access to the real-time data that supports best-practice business processes across the retail merchandise lifecycle.
• J. Crew
• The Home Depot
|Torex, a subsidiary of Micros
|Merchandise Planning provides tools to plan and analyze multi-channel product sales, including merchandising plans, assortment plans and allocation execution, balancing localized and channel needs.
|Merchant Application delivers retail management across all channels, integrating core requirements, including store operations, customer order fulfillment, warehouse management, and enterprise inventory control, with one centralized database and real-time data access.
||• Maui Nix
• Alumni Hall
Current rating: 5 (1 ratings)