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Industry News - June 20, 2008



Cavender’s Boot City Upgrades to the Latest Version of Vision Merchandising

Cavender's Boot City, a western wear and footwear retailer, has upgraded to the latest release of Jesta's Vision Merchandising. Cavender's uses Vision Merchandising to centralize buying and ensure that its product mix meets anticipated demand. Cavender's also leverages the use of VMI (Vendor Managed Inventory) to help eliminate stock-out for top sellers.

A key feature which Cavender's leverages in Vision Merchandising is replenishment. Cavender's buyers have seen great improvements in their sell through which they can manage right down to the lowest level. The latest version of Vision Merchandising includes an enhanced user interface and additional security for purchase order creation.

Kiehl’s Boosts Personalized Customer Experience from Stores to the Web Site

Kiehl's selects MyBuys to provide both personalized product recommendations on their Web site, as well as personalized e-mail alerts to their customers.

In Kiehl's stores, employees are dedicated to providing shoppers with personal service, helping them find the right products for their skin type and needs. The company wants to extend the same level of attentiveness to shoppers online. MyBuys will help decrease shopping cart abandonment, increase conversion rates and improve overall customer lifetime value thorough personalized product recommendations on Kiehl's Web site. In addition, MyBuys will also help Kiehl's reduce batch e-mails to clients by providing personalized and targeted e-mails with the information each customer wants. Alerts will be further leveraged to inform customers of when items they want are back in stock or on clearance.

"MyBuys will help us continue to live up to our brand promise of personalized service, by offering tailored recommendations to our online shoppers," said Hillary Townsend, e-commerce marketing manager, Kiehl's. "We chose MyBuys because of the tremendous results they have already achieved for Lancome, including 8% conversion rates and 28% open rate on email alerts."  

Urban Outfitters Reduces Cycle Times with Merchandise Lifecycle Management Suite

Urban Outfitters implements the full TradeStone Merchandise Lifecycle Management suite (PLM for Retail, Global Sourcing, Global Order Management, Quality Management and Supplier Management) across all of its specialty brands.

Urban Outfitters will use TradeStone's technology for its end-to-end supply chain visibility from design to delivery, allowing the retailer to effectively manage exceptions and respond rapidly to changing consumer demand. By using Tradestone's Merchandise Lifecycle Management suite, the retailer can further refine a postponement strategy allowing them to wait until the optimal moment to make a decision on color, style or even store location destination.

"Urban Outfitters is at the strongest position in its history and TradeStone will be instrumental in supporting our continued growth as we roll out the application among 300 employees across all of our brands and to our external supply chain community," said Barbara Rozsas, Executive Director of Sourcing and Production, Urban Outfitters.

Urban Outfitters will also utilize TradeStone to enhance inbound visibility by replacing emails, faxes and spreadsheets with electronic packing lists and case level ASNs. This will provide the distribution centers better advanced planning capabilities. The retailer will also take advantage of TradeStone's calendar capabilities to review styles and set deadlines as well as improve workflow management. TradeStone's Merchandise Lifecycle Management suite will layer across the company's existing product development system, warehouse management system and three different ERP systems.

"With TradeStone's technology in place, we are building an infrastructure with processes that support both our own brand and market purchases in a uniform, streamlined manner to accommodate dramatic growth across multiple selling channels including stores, e-commerce and wholesale," said Calvin Hollinger, Chief Information Officer, Urban Outfitters.

Borders.com Adds New Search, Navigation and Merchandising

Borders selects the Endeca Information Access Platform (IAP) to power the search, Guided Navigation and merchandising capabilities on the new Borders.com. Endeca works with Borders to give shoppers new ways to explore and find more than two million books, CDs, DVDs, as well as access Borders' exclusive and original programming.  Endeca is also being used to create highly targeted promotions of featured products based on shoppers search terms, browse path and other criteria, helping Borders deliver a superior shopping experience across all channels.

"Endeca offered us the best search, navigation and merchandising capabilities, and was uniquely suited for cross-channel deployment," said Kevin Ertell, vice president, e-business for Borders Group.  “More importantly, Endeca has proven to be a trusted partner and is playing a key role in long-term customer experience innovation — working with us to create new capabilities that will fundamentally change the way people explore and shop for new products."    

Endeca's integrated search, Guided Navigation and merchandising capabilities give shoppers the ability to interchangeably search and browse products and content of interest on Borders.com. Shoppers can query the Endeca engine in a variety of ways.  They can perform keyword searches, click on sites categories and other navigation options, refine searches and navigation selections, and even explore the new Borders.com signature Magic Shelf which uses rich internet application (RIA) capabilities to let people browse virtual book shelves.  The same capabilities will be available at all 500-plus Borders superstores when Borders.com becomes accessible on existing in-store kiosks in the coming weeks, giving shoppers the ability to search and browse localized inventory and content.

Sears Personalizes Online Shopper Experience

Sears offers online shoppers product recommendations powered by richrelevance. Sears.com and Kmart.com currently run richrelevance’s turnkey solution, which analyses shopper behavior and customize shopper’s online experience from homepage through checkout.

Richrelevance analyses more than 15 types of consumer shopping behavior to predict which products are relevant to which shoppers. Attributes that are analyzed include a shopper’s previous purchases, key search terms and specific brand-preferences. Each time a shopper visits Sears.com or Kmart.com, richrelevance will choose the best recommendations at every point in the shopping flow from item selection to purchase completion.

“We are committed to providing our customers with the best possible shopping experience, no matter how they interact with us,” said Jim Barr, President, Online for Sears Holdings. “With richrelevance, we’re able to provide our online customers with recommendations that allow them to find what they’re looking for faster and easier.”

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