Kohl's Homes In on Price Management With Oracle Deployment

Following its deployment of Oracle Commerce, Kohl's implemented Oracle Retail Merchandising System and Oracle Retail Price Management to streamline and improve the inventory, pricing, and promotions operations that, for 1 million SKUs, determine how well larger categories and individual items perform both online and at each of Kohl's more than 1,100 stores nationwide.

For department store retailers, what consumers buy and when they buy it varies widely from store to store depending on the region, weather, demographics, and factors such as the popularity of local sports teams. Value-oriented specialty department store Kohl's is transforming many of its core retail operations to accommodate recent growth and ensure that both its store and online shopping experiences reflect the unique preferences of consumers, no matter where they live and shop.

Most recently, Kohl's overhauled its core merchandising, inventory, and pricing operations with the launch of a new Oracle Retail Merchandise Operations Management solution, allowing the retailer to coordinate a unified system of record for inventory to better serve customers across channels, and to simplify its business user experience.  The merchandising transformation at Kohl's represents a key step in the retailer's longer-term strategy, establishing a robust, stable, and scalable foundation for deploying new retail science, optimization, and planning solutions that will help to identify market opportunities and drive profitable growth.

"Oracle Retail has provided our merchants with more visibility to make informed decisions with better data to optimize performance at the item and store level," said Janet Schalk, executive vice president and CIO, Kohl's. "Equally important, the Oracle Retail implementation establishes a foundation for future growth and innovation."

The company is using Oracle Retail to manage pricing for all items (or SKUs) on a store-by-store basis and for its e-commerce site, to preserve margins where demand remains high and for clearing and refreshing inventory where needed. To deliver a real-time view of the many variables influencing item and store performance, Kohl's has integrated Oracle Retail Merchandising with multiple existing systems. By managing pricing and promotions from a unified view that delivers accurate, real-time insight from multiple sources, merchants will gain efficiencies with a more agile promotional pricing process. 

By leveraging the best practices built into the Oracle Retail reference model, which is a comprehensive collection of industry-leading processes that guide retail operations, Kohl's avoided customizations, simplified its merchandising overhaul, and allowed for faster upgrades in the future.

Kohl's implemented Oracle Exadata Database Machine to optimize performance of its retail operations and ensure that merchants have rapid access to the information they need.

The Oracle Retail implementation is part of a larger business transformation designed to support Kohl's ongoing growth and enable marketing and merchandising teams to anticipate customer demand, identify market opportunities, and roll out new products and promotions online and in stores. Next, Kohl's plans to implement and use the industry-leading predictive technology embedded in Oracle Retail Merchandise Planning and Optimization to more precisely tailor its selection of items, styles, and sizes to meet customer demand at each store.

These Oracle Retail solutions represent an expansion of Oracle Applications already in use at Kohl's, including Oracle Commerce, Oracle's PeopleSoft financial management solutions, and Oracle's PeopleSoft Human Capital Management; several components of Oracle Fusion Middleware; Oracle Database; and Oracle Exadata Database Machine.

In 2013, Kohl's moved its e-commerce operations to Oracle Commerce to deliver nearly 100 percent availability and support record high sales during the annual shopping spikes that accompany the holidays.

To provide differentiated customer service, Kohl's also deployed Oracle Service Cloud for web customer service, contact center, and knowledge management. The deployment enables Kohl's to reduce costs while delivering a compelling customer experience through voice, e-mail, chat, and cobrowsing capabilities that support millions of web interactions per month and more than 2,000 contact center agents. 
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