Store Operations

Store Operations examines the issues and challenges facing today’s store operators. From workforce management to merchandising and new store openings, this section is designed to help retailers improve the bottom line while holding the line on costs. Subscribe to the feed and stay in touch with the latest retail happenings.

Roundy’s and Dick’s Select Revionics For Price Optimization

Revionics, Inc., provider of retail life cycle price optimization solutions, recently announced that Roundy’s Supermarkets, Inc. selected Revionics for price optimization. Revionics will provide Roundy’s Everyday Price Optimization, which includes Revionics category planning tools, weekly price maintenance capabilities and recommended, optimized prices across all pricing zones, each week. Based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Roundy’s Supermarkets operates 155 stores under five banners, including Pick ’n Save, Rainbow, Copps, Metro Market, and the newly launched Mariano’s Fresh Market. Roundy’s will launch their initiative with Revionics by leveraging their Analytic Services, which will provide Roundy’s insight into market patterns and consumer preferences, to make better, fact-based decisions.

GNC Taps RedPrairie For Warehouse, Workforce Management

With 5,500 stores receiving merchandise from just three distribution centers, General Nutrition Centers (GNC) needed a warehouse management system with quick reflexes. GNC, the largest global specialty retailer of nutritional products, went live with RedPrairie Warehouse Management and Workforce Management in January 2010 for multi-channel fulfillment across its chain of retail stores, including 1,000 franchise locations and 1,200 Rite Aid-based stores-within-a-store. From the GNC DCs in Arizona, Pennsylvania and South Carolina, daily orders must be planned, allocated, picked and ready for shipment in 90 minutes or less, noted Lee Karayusuf, Senior Vice President Distribution and Transportation for GNC. “To meet that pace, to get the orders out the door each day, we offer users compensation based on how productive their picking is,” he explained. “The solutions we chose had to support that practice, and enhance efficiency across multiple channels of business.” More than 145,000 order lines are fulfilled daily using the new system. To complete the solution set, GNC also implemented RedPrairie’s Event Management, Scorecard and Web Visibility.

American Apparel Implements Infor Workbrain To Better Manage Its Global Workforce

Infor, a leading provider of business application software serving over 70,000 customers, recently announced that American Apparel, Inc. has implemented the Infor Workbrain solution to help manage the company’s global workforce. Retailers are increasingly turning to advanced WFM software to optimize store efficiency and deliver a winning customer experience. In a July 2009 report, RSR noted that retailers “showed a sensitivity to the fact that the way to ‘pay’ for an improved customer experience is by achieving a more consistent and productive level of execution by store employees, and not by spending more on labor.” To that end, retailers now have advanced WFM tools at their disposal.

RedPrairie Expands Grocery Reach With Acquisition of SofTechnics

With customers including 24 of the top 75 U.S. supermarket chains, SofTechnics will help to expand RedPrairie’s reach into the competitive grocery marketplace. On January 10, 2011 during the National Retail Federation (NRF) annual convention in New York, RedPrairie announced the completion of the acquisition of SofTechnics. (A true coincidence, the two companies’ booths were located directly next to each other on the trade show floor.) Conversely, RedPrairie will expand SofTechnics’ reach into the growing global marketplace. RedPrairie specializes in workforce, inventory and transportation solutions serving a variety of industries in more than 40 countries. SofTechnics’ specialties range from mobility-enabled store inventory and price management, intelligent store ordering, direct-store delivery and master data management.

Opterus Adds Rosetta Stone To Expanding Client Roster For Store Ops Center App

Opterus Inc. announced the release of Store Ops-Center Version 3.0 earlier this week at the National Retail Federation’s Big Show. Version 3.0 is enhanced to include a new Store Scheduling feature, designed to allow retailers who create manual employee schedules in their stores to create and manage them more efficiently online. The company also announced that Rosetta Stone Ltd., a leading provider of technology-based language-learning solutions, has implemented Store Ops-Center. The solution will automate communications, messaging, tasks and operational compliance across all of the retailer’s kiosk store locations in the U.S. By utilizing Store Ops-Center, Rosetta Stone will be empowered with a centralized view of store operations. The solution replaces the retailer’s manual communications methods through an on-demand retail portal that ensures message and task delivery and verification of operational compliance issues. In addition, Charming Charlie, a fast-growing fashion accessory boutique, has also implemented Opterus Store Ops-Center to increase store operational efficiencies. “This year we have been aggressively growing our business expanding to more than double the amount of stores we had at the end of 2009,” said Charming Charlie Facilities Manager, David Duke. “With Store Ops-Center, we can communicate more efficiently with our growing number of stores, as well…

Roots Thinks Outside the “Inbox” With Opterus Store Ops-Center

Roots Canada Ltd., a leading lifestyle apparel retailer, has completely eliminated the use of email in their stores and now remotely manages all of its locations through Opterus’ Store Ops-Center. The retailer has branded the adoption of this new solution Roots Ops-Center (ROS), and will be utilizing the web-based technologies from Opterus to streamline business processes and improve communication practices between the company’s 119 locations. “ROC allows us to have exception-based follow-ups which help to have more targeted communication,” said Jarar Kazmi, Executive Director, Retail Operations at Roots. “Our District Managers can now send messages directly from a smart phone to all stores, via a specific link, allowing those messages to be easily viewed by store associates in the ROC. This has simplified communication, especially because our strict security levels did not previously allow stores to send or receive emails externally from our network.”

QuantiSense Launches iPad-Compatible Reporting Capabilities for Store Planning

The interest in mobility solutions for in-store backend operations has created a buzz among retailers. Designed to empower executives with improved reporting capabilities, BI and data warehousing application provider QuantiSense recently announced the latest release of its software, which includes dashboards designed for the Apple iPad. The solution is designed to offer retailers greater store insight, enhancements to popular “plays” to drive action, and seasonal information to improve retail decision-making. With iPad-compatible dashboards, retail executives can interact with data and efficiently highlight problem areas and solutions from any location. The combination of QuantiSense and the iPad provides quick access to critical information including at-a-glance summaries displaying top departmental KPIs, sales trend graphs, and top and bottom products across departments.

Leverage In-Store Technologies to Prevent Cart Abandonment

By Bill Vetter, General Manager, Lawrence, a Tensator Group Company It’s easily understood how some holiday shoppers might consider the entire shopping experience to be stress-filled. Many consumers associate holiday shopping with time lost waiting on endless lines. They may choose not to think about holiday purchases until the very last minute, or worse, become overwhelmed while shopping and leave the store and merchandise behind. Each year, retailers must contend with shopping carts, bags, or baskets filled with un-purchased items, abandoned in the aisles, blocking merchandise, or entry and exit paths. What draws a customer into a retail store — only to leave behind everything they took the time to select? This article explores key reasons for abandoned shopping carts and provides practical guidance on how to best ensure each customer successfully completes their intended purchases — returning each time a satisfied customer.

Motorola’s New Mobile Services Platform Adds Support For Consumer Devices

Addressing the reality that consumer branded mobile devices are proliferating retail operations, Motorola has released its newest device management solution Mobility Services Platform 3 (MSP3) Control Edition, which supports Motorola and non-Motorola mobile devices. “We are seeing an evolution to more consumer mobile devices being introduced into the retail world and for the IT department this becomes a challenge of ‘how do I manage all of these devices’ in a safe and secure way,” said Sheldon Safir, Director of Global Product Marketing at Motorola.

Family Dollar Rolls Out Optimization Solution To Balance Price Strategy

Focused on providing cost-conscious consumers with a wide assortment at budget prices, Family Dollar is tapping technology from Revionics, Inc. to optimize pricing for the chain’s rapidly expanding product assortment. Family Dollar has successfully rolled out the Revionics Everyday Price Optimization solution to all 6,700 stores. While pricing processes had previously been “manual, subjective and tactically-focused,” according to Family Dollar VP of Information Technology Scott Zucker, the retailer is now able to make fact-based pricing decisions across a wide range of product categories and a diverse store base. “We can model various pricing strategies, understand the impact on sales and profit and act quickly to capture the benefits,” Zucker said. “Our whole focus has been about serving low to middle income consumers, with a typical income of $40,000 or less,” Zucker said in a video interview. “These are people that are looking for good value [and for] items to be priced right. They typically walk into the store with ten dollars in their pocket, so we have to make sure that we are very sharp on our prices.”

Walmart's RFID Efforts in Apparel: Not What Some Might Have You Believe

By Leslie Hand, Research Director, Global Retail Insights Retailers, including Dillard's, JCPenney, Bloomingdale's and American Apparel have publically talked about their RFID tagging efforts over the course of the last couple of years, with no particular public attention or concern. But when news was released that Walmart is RFID tagging garments, the media went nuts as claims ran the gamut from concerns about consumer privacy and surreptitious motives to RFID redo circa 2004. The truth is, the retail giant has never stopped exploring the potential business value of RFID, and has experimented with various use cases, from the pallet and case efforts of a few years ago to DVD tagging to the now well-known apparel tagging efforts. These efforts are all aimed at improving the efficiency by which Walmart does business, thereby reducing the price of goods conveyed to consumers.

RedPrairie Enhances WFM Solution with Mobility Features

RedPrairie Corporation, recently announced new capabilities for Site Manager™, the enhanced user interface for its Workforce Management solution. The new capabilities, including mobility features, are designed help retail managers to spend more time on the floor coaching sales associates and serving customers. “By getting store managers out of the back room managing disparate software applications and onto the floor managing customer interactions in person, retailers are finding they can increase their sales conversions significantly,” said Noel Goggin, VP of Retail Strategy, RedPrairie. “At one location, we found that the store was generating five to six more sales conversions for every additional hour that the manager was able to spend on the floor. That has a huge impact on the bottom line in today’s challenging retail environment.”

Making the Case for IP Video: 4 Tips for Success

By Will Botten, Manager, Engineering and Support, Direct Source, Inc. Video surveillance has been around since the 1960s when government organizations started to realize the potential safety and security benefits of cameras in public venues. Since then, surveillance systems have come a long way — transitioning from grainy black and white CCTV pictures toward full color, searchable digital video streams. In the retail sector, increased security concerns combined with the need to reduce costs and improve operational efficiencies, are driving a migration from existing analog systems to IP-based network video technology. As video systems have evolved, there has been a lot of confusion and misconception around how best to leverage network-based IP video systems in the retail environment. One of the most common misconceptions of IP-based network video is that retailers have to “rip and replace” analog systems to move to IP. In fact, retailers can choose a migration plan to transition video systems from analog to a hybrid system to an IP system. Done over time, this process can create a cost-effective and smooth transition without the need to overhaul large sections of the network.

Urban Outfitters Supports Growth with Manhattan Associates

Urban Outfitters implemented Manhattan Associates' Warehouse Management solution (WMS) from the Manhattan SCOPE Distribution Management solution suite to optimize its distribution network. The Manhattan Associates' Warehouse Management solution is designed for optimal collaboration and communication with an extensive network of suppliers and partners. Slotting Optimization scientifically determines the best picking profile for a distribution center, enabling timely, intelligent decisions as ordering trends change. Urban Outfitters delivers shopping experiences from its specialty retail stores, web sites and catalogs. It offers differentiated collections of fashion apparel, accessories and home goods in its store locations. The company also has a wholesale division that distributes to more than 1,000 stores worldwide. Ken McKinney, Executive Director of Logistics at Urban Outfitters, said the company’s continued growth and increasing sales led them to transform their supply chain processes with a long-term solution that could support their operations.

3 Key Trends for Smarter Retail

By Rob Garf, Associate Partner and Global Retail Industry Strategy Leader, IBM Global Business Services. With the unpredictable holiday season firmly behind us and the economy showing signs of gradual improvement, retailers are focused on getting customers back in the store and optimizing operations for 2010 and beyond. Today frugal is the new black. The conspicuous consumption of the ‘80s and ‘90s has been replaced by finite demand. In response, retailers have moved away from a supply-focused "if we produce it, they will come” mentality to engineering operating models that truly sense consumer demand and respond efficiently. In short, Mall of Dreams has been replaced by Smarter Retail.
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