Advertisement
09/01/2006

Meeting Market Demand

It's no secret that customers are now more demanding than ever before. To meet increasing customer demands, retailers are placing a greater focus on improving market responsiveness and agility. Time is of the essence, particularly when it comes to identifying market trends, comparing supplier offerings, transporting inventory to the proper locations and executing promotions consistently across all stores. Using merchandise management tools retailers are able to purchase the right products at the right time, based on market demand.

Merchandise management systems allow managers and buyers to take merchandising from the product mix to allocation to promotion planning. Systems can improve access to vital data including sales performance, promotion logistics and inventory status. Merchandise management helps retailers gain access to partners and suppliers to confirm product assortments, pricing and promotions.

Hudson's Bay (HBC), a Canadian retailer with more than 550 stores, recently re-engineered its merchandising infrastructure, processes and performance measures, but needed the technology to help coordinate the merchandise planning across all channels of the business. HBC banners include the Bay, Zellers, Home Outfitters and Designer Depot. "Improving our merchandise operations to perform more efficiently and effectively is a priority for HBC's management team," says Jerry Zucker, CEO.

The retailer selected a merchandising system from SAS to increase revenue through improved merchandise selection. "The integrated approach to merchandise planning will not only provide our company with the ability to better analyze and manage our business holistically, it will ensure that our customers are able to purchase the products they want, when they want them," says Zucker.

Meeting Demand

When working to respond to consumer demand, many retailers are collaborating with manufacturers to plan, optimize and execute consumer-centric merchandising, sales and marketing programs. RadioShack, for one, is utilizing price, markdown and promotion tools from DemandTec to achieve those goals.

"We believe these consumer-centric merchandising tools provide the science necessary to help us achieve improved gross profit and inventory sell through," says Jim Harrison, executive vice president merchandising and marketing at RadioShack. "The results with price optimization, coupled with our drive to continue to find ways to better serve our customers, have led us to gain insight into the needs of our valued customers."

To reach more customers through continued expansion, Karstadt Kompakt wanted a new merchandising system that could be deployed quickly and offered room for future expansion. The retailer also was looking for support for inventory forecasting, allocation and price management.

Karstadt, a department store operator with 74 stores across Germany, began its search for a new merchandising system when it split from its parent company, KarstadtQuelle. The merchandising system, from Oracle Retail, allows the retailer to coordinate operations through a single source of data and generate more accurate forecasts.