News Briefs

  • 6/30/2022

    H&M Is Optimizing Its Data Strategy

    Using analytics in the supply chain

    H&M is looking to overhaul its data infrastructure, focusing on sustainability and security in order to improve the customer experience and supply chain enablement. 

    The company tapped Google Cloud, leaning on its tech offerings to implement a core data platform, data product, and advanced analytics intelligence and machine learning. These new capabilities will allow H&M to access more data from multiple sources, including in-store, online, and its ecosystem and suppliers. 

    [Read more: H&M Group and Amazon Launch Tech-Enabled In-Store Shopping Experiences]

    "H&M Group has a long history of innovation across all our brands and always wants to build meaningful relationships with our customers,” said Alan Boehme, chief technology officer, H&M Group. “We are now further accelerating digitalization as we believe in sustainable growth powered by advanced analytics and tech.”

    Eva Fors, managing director of the Google Cloud Nordic Region, said the company admires H&M Group's commitment to innovation. “We are excited to move forward in our journey together."

  • 6/26/2022

    Kroger Optimizes Retail Media, Improves Data Visibility

    How retail media provides valuable data into consumer shopping behaviors

    Kroger is getting a tech overhaul, improving access to product availability data across its 2,700 stores in 35 states. 

    Through a partnership with Omnicom Media Group, Kroger’s retail media arm — Kroger Precision Marketing (KPM), powered by 84.51° —  is enhancing data visualization and daily access to valuable insights, feeding SKU-level store inventory data to a new open operating system that will allow brands to quickly redirect media spend and improve KPIs in a supply-strained landscape. 

    In addition to product availability data, the platform will also display fulfillment rates from e-commerce orders as well as market basket insights related to SKUs purchased together and substituted. 

    This will give media planners day-to-day visibility into SKU inventory data at the physical store and digital shelf levels. Through this increased access, users can leverage consumer’s shopping behavior insights to optimize spend based on product availability. Additionally, they can avoid low-inventory products, and move toward items with high repeat purchase behavior. 

    "Kroger Precision Marketing is committed to bringing more transparency to the media supply chain to help brands be more effective in their advertising," said KPM SVP Cara Pratt. "Our collaboration with Omnicom aligns with our mission to make brand advertising more accountable."

    Omnicom Media Group chief activation officer Megan Pagliuca said the collaboration enhances account teams' ability to reduce media waste, meet brand performance goals, and ensure a positive consumer experience.

  • 6/26/2022

    New Oracle Cloud Service Helps Retailers Support a More Sustainable Supply Chain

    Oracle has expanded its merchandising procurement capabilities with the introduction of Oracle Retail Supplier Evaluation Cloud Service. The new cloud application enables retailers of all kinds to access and evaluate the governance of suppliers based on their ethical, environmental, safety, and quality performance practices. By being able to make more effective, sustainable, and responsible sourcing decisions as part of the merchandising procurement process, retailers can better manage risk across their supply chain, protect their brand image, and more easily identify greener and more ethical sourcing options.

    For example, using its Supplier Evaluation dashboard a fashion retailer realizes its production of denim is resulting in a high level of chemical pollution and consuming 10,000 liters of water per item. By reviewing its suppliers’ environmental and ethical credentials, the retailer can adjust its providers to make more responsible sourcing decisions that reduce water waste and chemical pollution.

    “Consumers are increasingly prioritizing environmentally friendly and ethically sourced goods. To continue to succeed, responsible and sustainable sourcing needs to be at the forefront of a brands continued innovation efforts,” said Mike Webster, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Retail. “Oracle Retail Supplier Evaluation will enable businesses to make effective and responsible decisions across their supply chain and confidently communicate this supplier information to their customers, ultimately building brand loyalty and increasing revenue.”

    Oracle Retail Supplier Evaluation will be generally available July 14, 2022.

    Consumers and shareholders putting their wallets on sustainable retailers

    Shareholder and consumer expectations are putting a new level of accountability and pressure on executives to bring sustainable products to market. In fact, nearly 60% of consumers recently said it’s important that retailers’ brand values, such as sustainability and ethically sourced materials, align with their own. McKinsey and Company estimates that two-thirds of the average company’s environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) footprint lies with suppliers, and those companies with strong ESG credentials can drive down costs by 5-10%.

    Oracle Retail Supplier Evaluation augments the Oracle Retail Merchandising procurement process by giving buyers additional data to evaluate existing suppliers or identify new ones. With the cloud service, retailers can enable vendors to report their compliance through scored assessments, audits, certifications, and change management practices. This operationalizes supply chain ESG performance as part of the standard merchandising procurement process. With better visibility and insights across the supply chain, retailers can assess how changes and alterations will impact their ESG score and enact change management processes to help ensure smooth integration of new suppliers with limited disruptions.

    Increased visibility and governance across the supply chain

    “Because consumers expect businesses to operate with people and planet in mind, they expect companies to be transparent related to the impacts of their businesses,” said Jordan Speer, research manager, IDC Retail Insights. “To earn loyalty, retailers need to operate ethically and with transparency, pulling back the curtain to allow the consumer to see how the sausage is made. It requires work to provide that visibility, but it unlocks a treasure chest of new opportunity that creates competitive advantage through differentiation. Consumers will pay for products and services that are produced sustainably. They will pay to connect with the brands and people involved in creating and producing their products.”

    With Supplier Evaluation retailers can help ensure more sustainable products through:

    • Assessments: Users create or utilize pre-defined assessments to measure a supplier and their supply chain against various standards, policies, or retailer-defined needs. Suppliers are invited to complete relevant assessment(s) as a part of their onboarding, re-evaluation, or new policy workflow process.
    • Audits: Retailers can further evaluate a supplier by scheduling and conducting on-site facility audits and visits, collaborating on non-conformances, monitoring, workflow corrective actions, and determining an overall conformance score.
    • Governance: Documents can be tracked for readership and acceptance, and later the adoption of new policies, standards, and regulations. This centralized location can house policies, standards, training material, processes, guidelines, and regulations for employees and external suppliers.
    • Changes: The workspace includes news and urgent action notifications to visibly inform all applicable users of changes, expectations, and activities.
    • Certification: Once vendors are evaluated, users can register and upload certified evidence, validation, and conformance that the facilities meet the industry standards, specific declaration, and or the criteria set by the organization.
    • Performance: Retailers can create critical processes to help ensure that all appropriate steps, activities, and measurements have been completed during registration, re-evaluation, new policy roll-out, and ongoing performance. Performance dashboards enable monitoring each assessment, audit, certification, and adoption against each supplier, facility, and supply chain. Scores can then be aggregated by a supplier, category, standard, and policy.
  • 6/16/2022

    2022 Top Women in Grocery: RIS Sister Publication Progressive Grocer Highlights Influential Leadership

    Trophy on table with lights

    RIS’ sister publication Progressive Grocer recently revealed its list for the 16th annual Top Women in Grocery recognition program. This year, the company's judging panel sifted through 1,158 submissions and selected 401 honorees.

    The program includes several tiers of recognitions, including Grocery Trailblazer, Rising Stars, Senior-Level Executives, Store Managers, and CPG Trailblazer.

    Here’s a quick breakdown of this year’s winners.

    2022 Top Women in Grocery Trailblazer

    Progressive Grocer selected Mary Ellen Adcock, the SVP of operations for The Kroger Co., as its Grocery Trailblazer. She is responsible for all supermarket stores and divisions, leading the company’s consumer experience strategy — the grocer has 11 million shoppers per day. 

    Additionally, Adcock oversees operations for 480,000 associates across nearly 2,800 stores. She focuses on asset protection, process change, productivity improvement initiatives, and enterprise food safety.

    Read a Q&A Between Progressive Grocer and Adcock Here

    Progressive Grocer also highlighted several leaders within its Senior-Level Executives list, including Ahold Delhaize USA, Food Lion, The Giant Co., Albertsons Cos., Avocados From Mexico, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Campbell Soup Co., The Coca-Cola Co., Dollar General Corp., Giant Eagle, Hy-Vee Inc., The Kroger Co., Meijer, Publix, Sam’s Club, and more. 

    Get more details about these winners and find the full list here

  • 6/14/2022

    Steve Madden Picks Up Tech Partnership to Elevate BOPIS, Pre-Orders, and More

    Steve Madden storefront

    Steve Madden’s retailing strategies are about to get a makeover. The fashion retailer is investing in an omnichannel order management solution to elevate offerings such as buy online pick-up in store (BOPIS), ship from store, and pre-orders. 

    The company — which includes brands like Steve Madden, Steven by Steve Madden, Madden Girl, MADDEN, Freebird by Steven and more — has tapped HotWax Commerce on the tech front. Steve Madden will be leveraging the company’s platform to facilitate omnichannel solutions to ultimately increase conversion rates and profitability. 

    [Read more: AI and Automation Unlock Supply Chain Progress]

    “We are thrilled to be working with the Steve Madden team on their omnichannel journey,” said Anil Patel, CEO at HotWax Commerce. “We believe that our modern technology fits perfectly with the brand’s forward-thinking vision and approach to customer experience.”

  • 6/13/2022

    Catch Co. Unveils Its First Experiential Retail Store, Karl’s Fishing & Outdoors


    Karl's Fishing & Outdoors has opened its first brick-and-mortar store located at 1621 River Run, Fort Worth, TX.

    The direct-to-consumer digital platform, created for both novice and seasoned anglers, is marking a new chapter by opening an immersive and memorable retail experience that allows visitors to enjoy the outdoors in a new way.

    Founded in 2012, the retailer’s owner Catch Co. is best known for its innovative commerce brands Mystery Tackle Box, the original monthly subscription box of lures and tackle, and Karl's Bait & Tackle, a membership-based ecommerce platform.

    Karl's Fishing & Outdoors is a 2,500-square-foot storefront that combines retail with engaging, hands-on experiences. The interactive store features products for fishing and outdoor buffs. Ideally located on the Clear Fork of the Trinity River, the store will host fishing lessons and meetups, including philanthropic events and entertainment.

    The store design features interactive, tech-enabled experiences that demonstrate how products are used to catch fish, such as interactive displays that let shoppers touch and feel baits and see how they act underwater. Shoppers can choose from a variety of brands like Mystery Tackle Box, The Googan Squad, BioSpawn, 10,000 Fish, HUK, Shimano, Daiwa, Lew's and others. Products include rods, reels, tackle, kits, tools, fly fishing gear, kayaks, apparel and outdoor lifestyle items.

    "The Karl's Fishing & Outdoors flagship store promises to deliver an experience that hasn't been seen in the outdoor category," said Teeg Stouffer, director of retail experience, Catch Co. "The clean, simple design and tech-enhanced features make it an intimidation-free shopping experience – even for those who are new to fishing and outdoor activities – or the perfect place to find a gift for the outdoorsperson in your life."

    The storefront will host a variety of grand opening events, starting with a ribbon cutting hosted by Karl Von Dibble, "chief fishing officer" and the brand's larger-than-life personality. Influencers and fishing celebrities will also make appearances, and the brand's eye-catching Bassmobile, a 40-foot bass on wheels, will be on site to add to the fun Thursday through Sunday.

    Karl's plans to roll out stores in other locations throughout the U.S., with its second location at Mall of America in Minneapolis, MN. slated for later this year.

    "When we started Catch Co. 10 years ago, our goal was to help people discover quality products that would help them get outside and enjoy nature," said Ross Gordon, founder and CEO of Catch Co. "Opening our first Karl's Fishing & Outdoors store takes our mission to the next level by creating a shared space for anglers and outdoor enthusiasts to connect, learn about new products and ultimately embrace their passion for the outdoors."

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