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Industry News - January 27th 2014



JCPenney CEO Outlines Pricing Transformation

At a launch event in New York City, JCPenney revealed initiatives to change its pricing and promotions strategy as well as its merchandise content and presentation. CEO Ron Johnson and President Michael Francis detailed how the company is reimagining every aspect of the company's business.
In the presentation, Johnson and Francis introduced a new pricing strategy called "Fair and Square," which includes three types of prices: everyday regular prices, month-long values and best prices. The best prices are the retailer's lowest prices that will occur on the first and third Fridays of every month to introduce new merchandise. And rather than inundating the customer with a series of sales, coupons, rebates and retail gimmicks, JCPenney will host 12 promotional events each year, on a monthly calendar.
"Beginning February 1, we will create tremendous excitement through monthly promotions that are in sync with the rhythm of our customers' lives," says Johnson. "We will transform each and every store over the next four years with a month-by-month, shop-by-shop roll-out of exciting new merchandise initiatives."
Johnson and Francis also outlined plans to include new sections in the store called Main Street and Town Square that will better organize the store layout and offer a series of services for customers to learn more about the products they buy. Main Street will feature a series of 80 to 100 brand shops. Among brands to be included are Martha Stewart and l’amour nannette lepore. JCPenney also said it intends to update existing brands IZOD and Liz Claiborne and expects to feature 30 new and transformed brands by fall 2014.

BJ's Streamlines Transportation, Lowers Costs with RedPrairie

BJ's Wholesale Club will use transportation management technology from RedPrairie to streamline its transportation operations and reduce costs. Using RedPrairie's Transportation Management System, BJ's will be able to better monitor carrier performance and shipment activities throughout the supply chain.
"We look forward to a continued effort with RedPrairie to improve the management of our transportation," says Trevor LaChapelle, vice president and manager of Global Transportation at BJ's. "Their TMS offers us a scalable and flexible solution to support our on-going needs."
BJ's operates more than 190 clubs in 15 states from Maine to Florida. It provides members with merchandise at prices significantly lower than supermarkets, supercenters, department stores, drug stores and specialty stores.
"BJ's Wholesale Club is all about value," comments Jeff Desroches, senior vice president and director of Logistics for BJ's. "To provide BJ's members with top-quality brand-name merchandise at the best possible prices, our supply chain must remain efficient. As part of our overall supply chain strategy, RedPrairie's Transportation Management System allows us to make better decisions to manage our costs."

Target Boosts Analytics Capabilities

Target will implement the Teradata Active Data Warehouse platform to help the retailer become an analytics-driven organization to better serve its customers.
Using Teradata Active Data Warehouse, Target will be able to effectively manage complex user queries on large data volumes in a mixed workload environment across its entire enterprise of 1,767 stores across the US and Target.com. The high performance analytical capabilities it will gain will quickly provide detailed insight and business value.
"Together with Target we will enable the best possible use of detailed data to drive the best possible decision-making — and positively ensure deeper business visibility and understanding for effectively serving millions of Target guests," says Gene Sullivan, retail vice president at Teradata.


Choice Hotels International Installs choiceADVANTAGE Cloud-Based PMS in 5000th Location

Choice Hotels International Inc. deployed its cloud-based hotel property management system, choiceADVANTAGE, to its 5,000th hotel – the Comfort Hotel De L'Europe of Saint-Nazaire, France. 

The user-friendly choiceADVANTAGE solution provides Choice Hotels franchisees with advanced hotel management functionality, with feature such as efficient guest servicing, sophisticated revenue management, complete groups functionality, remote access and full integration with the company's programs. As a cloud-based software, the system is also accessible from any computer that offers Internet access. 

"From the moment a reservation is made through check out and even after a stay, our choiceADVANTAGE system provides our franchisees with a fully integrated solution to manage guest interaction at every stage," said Todd Davis, chief technology officer for Choice Hotels. "Specifically designed and built to seamlessly interact with our central reservation and customer relationship management system on the Internet, this software adds value for our hotel owners and we're thrilled for its now truly global footprint."

As an above-property, Web-based solution, choiceADVANTAGE requires a minimal initial investment for hotel franchisees, since it eliminates the need to purchase, store and maintain the costly infrastructure and hardware typically associated with traditional property management systems. 

In a related milestone, the company also recently celebrated the 2,000th installation of its Rate Center management tool, developed for the choiceADVANTAGE system, which allows hotels to more effectively manage pricing and inventory. In addition, Choice Hotels recently surpassed the $1 billion mark for 2011 annual ChoiceHotels.com revenue, a record number for the company. 

The choiceADVANTAGE software is currently in operation among properties in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, France, Australia and New Zealand. Plans to continue to introduce the software in Choice Hotels brand properties across Europe are in process. Choice Hotels celebrated its 3,000th property installation of choiceADVANTAGE less than two years ago in June 2010. 


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