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Inventory / Merchandising / Supply Chain

Supply chain challenges are mounting for many retailers, especially those operating in multiple regions of the country and abroad. Consumers expect to be able to order and purchase products via any channel, then have them delivered to their channel of choice – and quickly! New technologies are providing the ways and means for merchants to deliver on the promise of omnichannel excellence. Now retailers must find the best ways to implement new solutions to stay competitive.

The Survey Says…It’s Time to Close The Gap

It has been said that success in retail boils down to execution. One sure way to boost operational effectiveness is by ensuring you have a complete and accurate view of assets and available inventory at the store level. What is the cost of not knowing? Some retailers estimate that indirect spend cuts into 10% to 15% of their sales revenue. And it doesn’t take much to throw off your accuracy, either: everything from a simple spreadsheet error to new acquisitions, store closings and openings takes its toll on your data. That’s why now is the time to close the gap between what you think you know and what you absolutely need to know about your stores.

JDA Procures $570 Million Equity Investment, Avoids Sale To Honeywell

JDA Software has completed an agreement with Blackstone and its majority owner New Mountain Capital for the private equity firms to invest $570 million to finance a recapitalization of the company, which presently has approximately $2 billion in outstanding debt. The deal would entitle Blackstone to a 40% stake in the company, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. Honeywell was reportedly in talks to purchase JDA outright, but this move seems to have averted that deal. The new funding will be used to fuel JDA’s product innovation and growth plans to deliver its next generation cloud-based supply chain and omnichannel retail solutions, including the JDA Retail.me platform. The new equity investment is expected to be completed by early Q4 2016, pending customary closing conditions.

Ready To Implement An Omnichannel Solution? Five Factors To Consider

Every retailer is grappling with the challenge of how best to create a seamless omnichannel presence. As the number of disparate, nonlinear touch points along the customer lifecycle journey continue to multiply, it’s up to brands to figure out how to effectively connect with their customers at each juncture.  Consumers have more choices than ever when it comes to how and when they access e-Commerce brands, and while most retailers understand that omnichannel is a necessity, it’s extremely difficult to have the proper architecture in place to gather, exchange and draw insight from various sources of raw data. Even the best omnichannel solutions in the world will prove useless without the proper organizational foundation in place. 

Scandit Rolls Out Mobile Data Capture Platform To Simplify App Management

Scandit has launched Scandit Flow, a mobile data capture development platform designed to support a wide variety of barcode-scanning-intensive workflows across the supply chain, including Proof of Delivery, Inventory Management and Asset Management. Flow uses Scandit’s barcode scanning technology, which provides high performance, speed and accuracy in a variety of adverse scanning conditions (e.g. damaged labels, blurry barcodes, glare or low light).

How The Internet Of Things Is Making “Frictionless Retail” A Reality

Reducing friction has long been a goal in the retail industry, but the promise of “frictionless retail” has remained elusive. However today, thanks to the Internet of Things, mobile, cloud computing, edge analytics and other digital technologies, the promise of frictionless retail is finally within reach. The concept of frictionless retail is the elimination of any non-value added activities that can negatively impact the customer experience, sales or operational efficiency. Often, these points of friction exist simply because until now there hasn’t been a better way. For example, how many of us are tired of having to find our credit and loyalty cards, swipe them at the gas pump, punch in our ZIP codes, dismiss irrelevant offers, wait for a paper receipt and more, just to fill our cars with fuel? A much better, “frictionless” experience would be to simply drive up to the pump, fill the tank and drive…

Academy Sports Taps Walmart Manufacturing Leader As Merchandising Chief

Academy Sports + Outdoors has named former Walmart executive Michelle Gloeckler its EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer. Gloeckler also will assume the role of President at the company’s global sourcing wing, Academy International Limited. She will start at both positions on Aug. 29, 2016. Gloeckler joins Academy after seven years with Walmart U.S., where she most recently served as EVP of Consumables, Health and Wellness. At Walmart, she led the merchandising strategies in areas including beauty and personal care, pets, household paper and chemicals, baby, over-the-counter, pharmacy and optical. During her time at Walmart, Gloeckler also held roles including SVP of Home and U.S. Manufacturing Lead, SVP of Merchandise Execution and VP on Candy and Impulse.

Is Jet.com Pricing Technology The Real Prize For Walmart? Featured

Walmart is looking to acquire a major weapon — sophisticated pricing technology — in its ongoing battle with Amazon. The Bentonville retailer is reportedly in talks to acquire pure-play startup Jet.com for a hefty $3 billion price tag, according to the Wall Street Journal. "Jet.com’s potential market advantage is in leveraging its consumer facing transparent volume pricing negotiation technology to lock in bigger and more recurring customers, but they were challenged to attract a broader consumer base and to lock in a longer list of suppliers," said Leslie Hand, VP, IDC Retail Insights in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. "This is a great move for Walmart, because Walmart can use Jet.com’s technology to innovate value pricing and bring it to the masses like only Walmart can. It's a case of 'they are both better off together.'"

Intel Collaborates With Impinj To Combine Sensor Platform and RFID Technology

Intel and Impinj, a manufacturer of RFID devices and software, are teaming up to integrate the Intel Retail Sensor Platform, an inventory management system, into the Impinj RAIN RFID solution. The goal is to assist retailers as they aim to solve operational and business growth bottlenecks. As part of the combined solution, Impinj will brand and sell the Intel Retail Sensor Platform, which integrates with the Impinj ItemSense software. The solution is designed to:

Will Macy's AI-Powered Mobile App Be Friendly Tech — Or The Terminator? Featured

There's no question IBM's Watson is smart. After all, it beat the pants off the best-of-the-best Jeopardy contestants. But is it smart enough — and flexible enough — to help a Macy's customer find the perfect dress for her daughter's wedding? That's one of the things the retailer is trying to discover with its 10-store test of a mobile web tool that connects shoppers with an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered platform. "Macy's On Call" taps IBM Watson, via the Satisfi intelligent engagement platform, allowing customers to input natural language questions about each participating store's assortment, services and facilities.

Target Appoints Former Apple Exec To Lead Supply Chain Processes

Target has appointed Ben Cook as Senior VP of Global Logistics, Inventory Allocation and Replenishment. Cook will be responsible for leading the company’s inbound and outbound supply chain processes, including carrier transportation and last-mile delivery. He will report to Target’s Executive VP and Chief Supply Chain and Logistics Officer Arthur Valdez.

Convenience Economy Fuels Global Estate Sale Segment At EBTH: Exclusive CEO Interview Featured

Every retail segment can benefit from a more convenient way to purchase. That was part of the premise behind the development of EBTH (Everything But The House) back in 2008. Fast forward a few years: with 123% year-over-year growth and $30.1 million in sales in 2015, EBTH is resonating with a global audience, according to Andy Nielsen, President and CEO, EBTH. Recently I had the chance to chat with Andy to find out more about the challenges of building a strong, Internet-based global company. He also shares insights for other entrepreneurs and retailers working to grow their businesses.

Breaking the Discounting Spiral: Steps to Reduce Unnecessary Markdowns in Retail

It’s been a not so exemplary year for retailers in 2016. DynamicAction’s benchmark report comparing Q1 2015 to Q1 2016 found retailers sold 63% more orders with a promotion this year. Promotions last year might have gotten shoppers in the door, but this year during Q1 there was a 7% decrease in new customers, in addition to a 6% drop in returning customers. Retailers have seen full price orders down 4% from Q1 2015, and overall profits have dipped 2% in Q1 2016 compared to Q1 2015. The recent Forrester report titled: U.S. Retail eCommerce: Readjust Continually To Combat Amazon, reports that “Amazon captured $23 billion more in U.S. e-Commerce sales in 2015 than the previous year (up from $77 billion in 2014 to $100 billion) and accounted for some 60% of total U.S. online retail sales growth nationwide.”As Amazon has grown over the years, its market share has increased, while…
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