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Industry News - August 21st, 2009



Five Below Manages Merchandise with Dynamic Replenishment System

Five Below adds a fully integrated dynamic replenishment solution from Island Pacific Replenishment.

Five Below uses Island Pacific Replenishment to project and manage merchandise needs. For example retailers can track, analyze and calculate replenishment needs utilizing historical weekly sales and future trends.

"We've been able to remove considerable manual analysis time from our store replenishment process by automating with Island Pacific Replenishment," said Chris DeMeester, VP of Information Technology for Five Below.


Ace Hardware Extends Contract with Activant Solutions

Ace Hardware signs a three year agreement with Activant Solutions. Ace Hardware and Activant Solutions originally collaborated together in 2000 to provide a fully integrated technology solution to Ace's 4,600 hardware, home center and building material stores.
Prior to signing this agreement, Ace had evaluated alternative solutions and ultimately decided the agreement with Activant was in the best interest of its retail owners.

"We've discussed this agreement with many Ace retailers across the country and have found the reception to be primarily positive," said Mike Elmore, CIO for Ace Hardware. "We are very happy to offer the Activant Eagle solution as our endorsed point-of-sale platform, and look forward to continued simplicity, functionality and value for our retailers."


Big Y Foods Adds Next-Generation Loyalty System

Big Y Foods rolls out Retalix Loyalty as its next-generation customer marketing system. Big Y has been a longtime user of Retalix StoreLine point-of-sale (POS).

Big Y selected Retalix Loyalty because of its functionality and ability to handle targeted, sophisticated promotions through integration with Retalix StoreLine. The receipt feature of Retalix Loyalty provides clearer explanations to customers when running complex promotions.

Retalix Loyalty is a targeted promotions and consumer interaction system that delivers offers, tracks performance and personalizes communications. As an enterprise-wide, real-time, scalable system, the software ties together centralized operations, marketing management, special promotions, IT and the shoppers themselves.


Godfather of Retail Identity Theft Indicted

A Florida man and two unnamed Russian co-conspirators were charged Monday with hacking into retail computer networks and stealing data for more than 130 million credit and debit cards, the largest hacking and identity-theft caper in U.S. history.

Virtually every major news media is reporting that Albert Gonzalez, 28, of Miami and two unnamed computer hackers in Russia victimized Heartland Payment Systems, which is the foundation for the current indictment.

However, it is clear from reports that Gonzalez was the cyber-theft kingpin behind virtually every major retail identity theft over the past five years including those at TJX, 7-Eleven, Hannaford Brothers, BJ's Wholesale Club, Office Max, Boston Market, Barnes & Noble, Sports Authority, DSW, and Dave & Buster's restaurant chain.

Gonzalez, who was charged in a New Jersey federal court, has been in federal custody since last year. He is facing other hacking charges in Boston, for which he was already indicted, and in New York, which is pending. Convictions for these crimes could put him in prison for life.

According to Monday's indictment, Gonzalez and his co-conspirators committed the theft from October 2006 to May 2008, and sent the data to computer servers in California, Illinois, Latvia, the Netherlands and Ukraine.

Prosecutors allege the defendants used sophisticated techniques to cover their tracks and to avoid detection. In computer attacks lasting more than a year, the trio allegedly scooped up credit- and debit-card numbers and installed back doors in computer networks to enable them to steal more data in the future. They also installed "sniffer" programs to capture transaction card data in real-time and send it to the hackers.

Gonzalez and his conspirators reviewed lists of Fortune 500 companies to decide which corporations to take aim at and visited stores to monitor which payment systems they used.

According to the indictment, interviews and recent court documents in pending cases Gonzalez says he launched what he called "operation get rich or die tryin'." Court documents say he threw himself a $75,000 birthday party and at one point lamented he had to count more than $340,000 by hand because his money counter had broken. Such large sums, primarily in $20 bills, were allegedly stolen from ATMs.


Barnes & Noble Claims Leading Position in College Booksellers

Barnes & Noble further cements its position as the country' leading bookstore after announcing last week it will acquire privately held Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, a leading contract operator of college bookstores in the United States.

College operates 624 college bookstores through multi-year management services contracts, serving nearly 4 million students and over 250,000 faculty members at colleges and universities across the United States.

In its 2009 fiscal year ended May 2, 2009, College produced revenue of $1.8 billion and same-store sales growth of 1.0%. The company has generated a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in revenues of 6.2% over the past three years.

College, which is currently owned by BKS Chairman Leonard Riggio, has a leading market position in the fragmented $10 billion college bookstore industry, in which approximately 35% of bookstores are operated by College and other third parties, and 65% are operated by the educational institutions themselves. College has 405 current contracts. Over 93% of contracts up for renewal were renewed in the last five years. The Company has a strong new contract pipeline, with new contracts signed in fiscal 2010 forecasted to add $53 million in annualized sales. The industry also has positive demographic trends, with U.S. college enrollment projected to grow from 15.3 million students in 2000 to over 20 million in 2015.

BKS expects the transaction, which has been approved by the boards of both companies, to close on or about October 1, 2009, subject to the receipt of regulatory clearances and customary closing conditions.


Roots Broadens Assortments By Adding "Endless Aisle”

Roots Canada plans to implement iCongo's cross-channel systems and a selection of e-commerce modules to enhance its current online store. Roots plan to use the system to offer its entire stock of inventory through stores and online channels regardless of the location of the customer. This will help increase sales conversions through universal product availability at roots.com and at all Roots stores across Canada and the United States.

The retailer also will use the iCongo platform to break down the silos between individual stores as well as the online channel. Orders and shipments will now be able to originate easily at any Roots location to better serve its customers. The system also will provide reporting required to properly attribute credit for the sale to the location of the purchasing customer. This will allow Roots to provide incentives to store employees to convert single channel customers to become multi-channel customers and reduce the concern of cannibalization between stores and online. By taking advantage of iCongo's "endless aisle" capabilities to capture in-store sales for out-of-stock items, and broadening the available assortment at smaller locations Roots is better positioned to capture lost sales opportunities.

Additionally, by using iCongo's technology, Roots will be collecting valuable analytics for strategic assortment planning and replenishment and benefit from a much higher level of integration between its e-commerce Web site and its back office systems.

"A large draw for us choosing iCongo is the platform's cross-channel capabilities, this will allow us to have a much more consumer centric approach when serving customers. Additionally, it will also allow us to turn inventory faster, achieve higher revenue both in our stores and online, gain better customer satisfaction, and increase brand loyalty," says Don Green, Roots Co-Founder. "Another draw was iCongo's preexisting integration with our POS technology that will allow us to automate many of our online catalog management processes that we're currently completing manually."

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