Scaling Up for Growth

Alma Market wants to sell a lot more double smoked kielbasa and cheese pierogis by the end of 2009. To effectively enact its plan to double its store base, the Polish grocery chain needed a better grasp on how many and what types of products were selling in the 14 grocery stores it already operates. Alma Market also needed to examine past selling patterns to determine how individual food items would perform in the future.

Alma Market sought to create one consistent platform that could produce granular data based on the performance metrics of individual locations. It also needed access to historical information, active control of stock levels and the ability to build forecasts that could take sales promotions into account for the 60,000 SKUs it carries (1,500 are imported exclusives). And it wanted to produce ad hoc reports and perform customer segmentation analyses quickly.

The retailer spent eight months deploying SAS for Business Intelligence. This system provides data management, data cleansing and metadata management.

"The whole project was done solely on the basis of SAS software," says Kazimierz Koral, head of analyses for Alma Markets. "SAS showed a deep understanding of our needs. The solution meets our technical and business requirements."

SAS was integrated into the company's existing IT infrastructure. "The delivered architecture meets our expectations in terms of ease-of-use, functionality and performance, which is worth stressing because the project was carried out in the circumstances of a changing IT architecture."

In addition to the recent implementation of the SAS system, Alma Markets launched an e-commerce site, Alma24, in 2007. Shoppers can choose from an assortment of 10,000 products. Last year, the grocer also began to offer its own credit card (Visa Alma) and started a popular loyalty program, the "Connoisseur Club," for its most valued customers.