Leveraging MTV Tie-In

Anchor Blue, a hip and young one-stop-shop for the latest in guy's and girl's fashions, offers an extensive line of quality apparel and brand name backpacks at low prices. The West Coast retailer's latest collection, 'Heidiwood,' designed by Heidi Montag, star of  MTV's 'The Hills,' has resonated significantly with young girls wanting to dress like their favorite 'Hills' star.  The line has been showcased in top fashion magazines and continues to sell out at a rapid pace.

Tapping into a target customer by way of celebrity endorsement is one key way to attract this retailer's core customer, but the youth apparel chain knew it needed more than just a high-profile celebrity to grow the brand.

With more than 5,000 employees, 250 stores across the nation, and plans for continuous growth, Anchor Blue realized it needed to move from manual workforce management processes to an automated platform. Anchor Blue chose a workforce management system from Kronos for Retail to help it realize its goals. Since implementation, the retailer has been able to reduce labor costs and overtime, improve compliance and productivity, increase employee satisfaction, and run reports immediately.

"We want systems that will provide all the controls necessary for successful store operations," says Andy Boada, vice president of finance at Anchor Blue. "Managers in stores need extra time to train employees and help customers without getting burdened by administrative tasks. This is key for operational and business successes in retail."

The retailer now can view actual labor hours each day and run reports in real-time. Also, through real-time tracking of time and attendance and schedules for each associate, Anchor Blue has been able to save an estimated 45 to 90 minutes each week at every store.

Besides saving time, Anchor Blue is concentrating on growing its store base. The retailer expects to double the number of retail locations within the next few years and plans to open 20 new stores per year.

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