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Industry News - June 6, 2008



Design Within Reach Selects Tomax Retail.net as Platform for Multichannel Operations

 Design Within Reach (DWR) selects Retail.net by Tomax to support its cross-channel operations including Web, call center, design studios and future retail storefronts.

Following a successful Web-driven introduction several years ago, DWR introduced their design studio concept which provides consumers with direct access to these exciting, modern products. Today, 68 design studios exist and will be joined soon by a compelling new storefront concept featuring modern lifestyle accessories, called Design Within Reach Tools For Living.

"Tomax understood the vision of our brand, which dictates the requirement for an extraordinary customer experience and the need to provide a streamlined, elegant process to support our clientele in the store, online and through the catalog," said Ray Brunner, DWR CEO. "Retail.net provides the flexibility and the single foundation we need for our operations going forward."

7-Eleven Stores Reduce Out-of-Stocks, Improve Inventory Turns

7-Eleven Stores, a privately held operator of more than 100 convenience stores in central Oklahoma, deploys the Retalix DemandAnalytX (DAX) forecasting and replenishment solution at all of its stores.

Retalix DemandAnalytX is a browser-based forecasting and computer-generated ordering (CGO) solution that helps retailers and distributors optimize inventory levels and improve demand-chain efficiencies. The software application uses unique algorithms to interpret POS sales and inventory data, forecast store-level demand and optimize replenishment orders.

“We’ve always done a good job avoiding out-of-stocks in our stores, but admittedly, it’s been at the cost of higher-than-necessary inventory levels, especially in the tobacco category,” said Jim Brown, president of 7-Eleven Stores. “We’ve known that with the right tool we could achieve a significant reduction in inventory while at the same time maintaining minimum out-of-stocks. We believe ‘DAX’ is the right tool.”

Brown explained further, “It’s a tremendous time-saving tool for our managers, too. Orders that used to take up to an hour to write are now generated automatically by DAX, affording our managers more time to take care of our customers. In the end, it makes us more efficient operators, always ensuring we have the right amount of inventory on hand for each individual product tracked by the DAX system,” he stated.

Sephora Adds Customer Feedback Platform

Sephora USA implements a comprehensive customer satisfaction feedback program across its 202 North American stores using Enterprise Feedback Management solutions from Medallia.

Sephora will conduct post-shopping surveys of customers at all of its domestic locations. Shoppers will be invited to access an online survey through a URL printed on their receipts. The real-time, web-based system will provide customer experience data that is higher quality and more quantitative than the mystery shopper program data it will supplement.

The program also supports Sephora’s overall strategic initiative to differentiate itself through innovation, exclusivity, and service. Sephora will use the customer experience data to:

  • identify innovative product and retailing opportunities through advanced analyses of customers’ open-ended comments,
  • improve service by empowering store and regional managers to act on store-level customer data and by using the data to better train employees, and
  • make the customer experience more holistic—and more exclusive—by tracking and trending customer experiences

"Empowering the store managers with the level of customer satisfaction data Medallia provides will help us create unique shopping experiences for all of our clients," said Kahla Broussard, Sephora’s vice president of retail.  

Marks & Spencer Adds In-Store Labeling

Marks and Spencer implements a new in-store labeling solution by Episys. The initial phase of the project will help provide in-store, color shelf edge labels for all of its food products in over 530 stores. Subsequent phases will see the solution expanded to cover all shelf edge and promotional signage throughout the estate.

“This solution will help us to better communicate our offer, driving sales and improving our customers’ experience," said Ian Blazeby, senior marketing planning and efficiency manager, Marks & Spencer.

“This solution will give us greater consistency of signage output, and help us generate greater volumes, critical at busy periods such as Christmas, whilst also delivering cost savings, "said Peter Caines, project manager, marketing IT.

Signage will incorporate both graphics and text. The Episys system includes head office control of label design using templates. These are delivered electronically to the stores, where labels can be locally printed in full color for both food and general merchandise.

Borders Upgrades Web Site with Site Accelerator Tools

Borders implements Akamai’s Dynamic Site Accelerator, Media Delivery and Stream OS solutions. Borders can now improve and accelerate site performance and efficiently manage and deliver dynamic, rich media content in the Adobe Flash format on the site.

The new Borders.com site brings the bookstore experience online with innovative features such as the Magic Shelf, a virtual bookshelf that allows customers to easily view book, music and movie titles much as they would browse the book tables, displays and shelves in their favorite Borders store. The retailer uses Akamai’s solutions to help accelerate the delivery of dynamic, interactive content on the Magic Shelf, increase the download speed of shopping applications and improve the response time for the display of the entire Web page. In addition, by leveraging Akamai’s Dynamic Site Accelerator, Borders can enjoy improved scalability, performance and availability for the highest possible number of visitors without weighing down its own infrastructure.

The Borders.com site also includes original and exclusive video programming created by Borders. With the growing amount of online video content added onto their e-commerce site, Borders needed a high-quality digital media management tool to help them manage their online video assets. With the Akamai Stream OS and Akamai Media Delivery solutions, Borders can manage and deliver their video content in Flash format, ensuring that their e-commerce site can serve up all the rich media content in a fast and reliable manner.

“By implementing Akamai’s suite of technology solutions, we can focus on delivering great services that ultimately translate into an enjoyable, reliable and engaging online shopping experience for our consumers,” said Kevin Ertell, vice president of e-business for Borders Group. 

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