Retail Intelligence Briefs


Levi's Mexican Retail Outlets Invest in Tagsys RFID

Portugal's Throttleman Taps Tagsys for RFID Rollout


Levi Strauss & Co.'s 40 retail outlets in Mexico are deploying Tagsys' UHF readers to leverage RFID technology to speed the checkout process and improve inventory management.


Systems integrator Grupo Hasar is overseeing the project.


The Tagsys readers combine UHF reader technology with an embedded antenna design that inventories multiple stacked garments while not erroneously reading nearby items.


"We appreciate the innovation behind each of Tagsys' solutions, which inevitably will help to enhance the effectiveness of our RFID implementation," said Abel Garcia, director of IT in Mexico for Levi Strauss.


Throttleman, one of Portugal's premier fashion houses, has integrated RFID technology into its supply chain to speed delivery of its apparel to retail customers.


Throttleman contracted with systems integrator Creativesystems to define and support its RFID implementation, and Creativesystems chose to use Tagsys for UHF tunnels, Sybase for middleware and Paxar (Avery Dennison) for RFID labels.


Throttleman has arranged for RFID-tagged clothes to be shipped from its manufacturing partners to its DC, where the Tagsys UHF tunnel scans and reads the contents of each box in a few seconds. Throttleman's systems then compare the list of items scanned to the packing slip, and generate a list of discrepancies, alerting employees to check a box's content as needed. RFID has shortened the time items spend in the DC by five days.


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7thOnline Organizes Solutions in Six Suites


7thOnline has reorganized its product line into six primary suites of applications and services, including:


*7thOnline Assortment Planning - for building and analyzing visual and quantitative assortment plans by style, color and size by store location;

*7thOnline Optimization Services - for leveraging algorithms for assortment optimization, size optimization and store cluster optimization (7thOnline says clients using these services have experienced sell-through increases of up to 27 percent and stock-out reductions of up to 76 percent);

*7thOnline Collaborative Buying Platform - for executing assortment plans from product selection through order placement, incorporating vendor data and reporting;

*7thOnline Line Sheet Hosting - for sharing real-time product information and images with retail buyers and automatically generating line sheet reports;

*7thOnline eSHOWROOM - for conducting business with specialty store trading partners through an online product catalog with ordering capabilities; and

*7thOnline Outsourced Services - for leveraging 7thOnline's fashion industry expertise for IT development outsourcing services, from business process and technology consulting through development, implementation, maintenance and support.


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GSI to Support e-Tail for Nautica, Kipling


The VF brands Nautica and Kipling are investing in GSI Commerce Inc.'s e-commerce solutions.


GSI will provide the brands with technology, customer care, order processing and fulfillment services for their new online stores, which will launch next year.


Richard Anders, president of Nautica Retail USA Inc., said: "We're excited that GSI will create and deliver a compelling online experience tailored to our growing customer base."


In other news, Linens 'n Things has signed a multi-year extension to its e-commerce agreement with GSI, which will continue to provide the retailer with web technologies, fulfillment, customer care operations and design and interactive marketing services.


Also, GSI has opened a 540,000-square-foot highly automated fulfillment center in Richwood, KY. Its largest facility, the center has the capacity to ship more than 110,000 orders per day. In addition, GSI plans to acquire e-commerce solutions provider Accretive Commerce Inc.


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Wal-Mart Chooses HP for Data Analysis

Chico's HP POS Investment Pays Off


Wal-Mart has selected the HP Neoview data warehousing platform to power complex analysis of data collected across its 4,000 U.S. stores.


A long-time HP customer, Wal-Mart turned to HP to partner in building its business intelligence solution. Nancy Stewart, Wal-Mart chief technology officer, said "the HP partnership is part of a continued effort to drive innovation into every facet of Wal-Mart's business and IT operations."


HP Neoview is HP's flagship enterprise data warehousing platform that integrates hardware, software and services.


In other news, HP reports that Chico's investment in HP POS systems has given the retailer superior performance in the reporting of inventory-in/ sales-out data as well as improved organization and faster overall operations.


Chico's invested in HP in 2005 for its POS needs. The retailer uses HP's rp5000 POS hardware, which integrates with its SAP retail software, and EMC data storage solution.


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Update: Avery Dennison Integrates Paxar


Avery Dennison's acquisition of Paxar happened more quickly than expected thanks to faster-than-anticipated regulatory approval for the deal, which closed in June instead of at the end of the year.


In reporting second quarter results, Avery Dennison president and CEO Dean Scarborough said the Paxar acquisition makes Avery Dennison 10 times larger than its largest competitor in the ticketing market.


Avery Dennison has raised its estimates for earnings per share accretion and cost synergies it will experience from the acquisition.


Scarborough said the Paxar acquisition is a "transformative event for Avery Dennison" that will enable the firm to serve the $15 billion+ worldwide market for retail information and brand identification.


Avery Dennison established 18 post-merger acquisition teams to integrate the Paxar business.


Kim Macaulay, vice president of product management and strategic business development for Avery Dennison, told Apparel that Paxar brings a culture of customer-drive innovation that Avery Dennison is eager to embrace. Avery Dennison intends to focus on unmet needs of individual clients, and look for innovation opportunities at all points within the customer's organization, she said.


Avery Dennison is planning to continue both the Paxar and Monarch brands, and sees significant cross-selling opportunities in the combined customer bases. Macaulay said Avery Dennison will continue to price its products "extremely competitively."


Avery Dennison has its eye on expanding in emerging retail markets such as China and India, and possibly Japan.


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RedPrairie Hones Its Fashion Focus


RedPrairie has dramatically improved its ability to forecast fashion retail workforce needs at the store level, says Pete Reilly, senior vice president and general manager for retail workforce management solutions at the Wisconsin-based firm.


RedPrairie's workforce management solutions are geared to apparel retailers with approximately 5,000 employees, or about $1 million in annual revenue per store.


Reilly said the company's technology can help apparel retailers increase their sales by ensuring they have the appropriate staffing level to handle demand and thus convert incoming shoppers into buyers. RedPrairie has cited research showing that for every one-half of a percent that a retailer increases its shopper-to-buyer conversion rate, the retailer's sales increase by 2.5 percent.


The firm's workforce management solutions do three key things: 1) forecast the level of staffing necessary to best support demand, 2) create a work schedule that takes into account anticipated demand and employee scheduling constraints and 3) ensure that the retailer is complying with state and federal labor laws.


RedPrairie's software can analyze many variables in forecasting workforce demand, including: traffic counts, POS transaction history, information about when new garment shipments will be received at the store (and whether employees will need to fold the garments or display them on hangers) and plans for store display set-up projects that will require employees' attention.


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Buckle Beefs Up e-Commerce with Escalate


Buckle, a retailer of casual apparel, footwear and accessories for young men and women, has implemented Escalate Retail's Blue Martini e-commerce platform, including the call center and relationship marketing applications.


"Service to our guests is paramount, and we are pleased that our Escalate-based web site allows us to provide a richer experience for our online guests," said Kelly N. Barnes, web development manager for Buckle. "The Escalate platform enables us to provide a more robust, secure and feature-rich environment for our multi-channel activities."


In other news, Escalate Retail has promoted Tim Kilbane to vice president of its Technology Services Group, and Laura Weinhofer to vice president of marketing. Kilbane previously was vice president of operations for GERS Retail Systems, which merged with Ecometry last year to form Escalate Retail. Weinhofer, also previously an executive with GERS, brings more 20 years of retail software, marketing and professional services experience to Escalate Retail.


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SAP Offers Free Report


SAP and the Economist Intelligence Unit have released the first in a three-part study highlighting the importance of connecting and communicating with retail customers to better understand their needs, interests and values.


A free copy of the study can be found online at


The report was written by the Economist Intelligence Unit, and sponsored by SAP. The business-to-business arm of The Economist Group, the Economist Intelligence Unit is a research and advisory firm with more than 40 offices worldwide.


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