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Industry News - November 13th, 2009



CVS Builds Single-View Database of Each Customer

CVS unveils it latest innovation: a consumer engagement engine which acts as a data management system which combines and analyzes data to provide the retailer with a single view of every CVS Caremark customer.

Whether a customer uses mail pharmacies, minute clinics, retail pharmacies, or specialty pharmacies, the consumer engagement engine will distill data down to actionable messaging for CVS customers and pharmacists alike. The system also will be capable of highlighting opportunities for cost savings around formula recompliance or generic substitution. It may also improve patient care through better compliance. Patients using CVS call centers, Web site, receiving outbound letters or interacting with pharmacists will receive targeted messages to help save money, save time, and stay healthy.

Using the system, CVS pharmacists will be able to restart someone on therapy from a mail order prescription that they may have discontinued, or help a member at retail get started on mail order.

According to Thomas M. Ryan, Chairman of the Board, President, Chief Executive Officer, of CVS, "This will provide us with an unprecedented capability to engage patients and to eliminate gaps in care, improve adherence, and help drive cost savings. It will be rolled out to our core channels in mid 2010 and we will have evidence in the -- and drive it in the selling season for 2011."


Lord & Taylor Upgrades In-Store Signage

Lord & Taylor upgrades its signage software across its department stores using Retail Enterprise Suite from Episys. The multi-phased software upgrade will begin with a complete replacement of Lord & Taylor's current signage system. The upgrade will provide Lord & Taylor with a host of new business management features.

"The Retail Enterprise Suite is platform independent and we can use any operating system or database management system where required, without having to worry about compatibility with our signage system," says Jonathan Fritschle, project manager, Lord & Taylor. "With Episys' proven upgrade path, we are able to implement the new software in a relatively short time without losing current signage or signage content."

Fritschle continued, "We look forward to working with Episys to determine what additional modules may be needed to fulfill our business needs."

The signage upgrade is scheduled to be fully deployed by early 2010. Future phases will allow for implementation of additional modules including inventory integration and price integration.


Finish Line Adds Advanced Allocation Software

The Finish Line selects Advanced Allocation from MID Retail to forecast and distribute its athletic footwear, apparel and accessories to all store locations.

Finish Line performed an extensive software evaluation for its allocation needs, and selected MID Retail based on its functionality, technology to support large volume retailer needs, and store level forecasting and size pre-pack optimization features.

"MID's system capabilities align perfectly with Finish Line's allocation needs," says Roger Underwood, senior vice president of e-commerce operations, Finish Line. "A critical key to our success is the ability to control store inventory down to the detail of size level, and MID can do this and much more. Finish Line is excited about our partnership with MID."

The MID system has several major new features including accounting for out-of-stock lost sales by style, color and size, to the development of size pre-packs to drive the ordering process.


Casual Male Gains Deep Insight Across Channels Using Data Analytics

Casual Male gain deeper insight into its existing data and helps meet customer needs in a with the Netezza data warehouse appliance.

"In order to provide stellar customer service, it's critical we have insight into all our channels --retail, catalogue and e-commerce -- and can adapt quickly to changing consumer needs," said Dennis Hernreich, executive vice president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer of Casual Male Retail Group. "With Netezza, we can quickly analyze data and make fact-based decisions about merchandising, marketing, distribution and store operations -- enabling us to gain the most value from vast amounts of consumer information."

The Netezza data warehouse appliance analyzes terabytes of detailed data. It stores, filters and processes terabytes of records within a single unit, analyzing relevant information for each query.


American Eagle's New Flagship Store Offers Goundbreaking Visual Experiences

American Eagle Outfitters announces it will debut a new flagship store in Times Square on Thursday, November 19. The store will feature four levels of shopping, exclusive AE products and more fashion-forward merchandise.

The retailer's innovative store design includes custom lighting throughout the store, 15-foot ceilings and a 13-foot video wall. The store also features a "15 Seconds of Fame," which allows customers to pose in a mini photo studio. Moments after, the customer's photo will be projected onto the 15,000 square feet of LED screens (25 stories high) outside the store, for all of Times Square to see.

The LED screens will feature content 18 hours per day. American Eagle Outfitters has partnered with the following companies to provide ground-breaking visual experience in Times Square:

-The Barnycz Group developed the design, integrated the technology, and is overseeing the installation of this dynamic architectural facade of synchronized LED displays, as well as the store`s interior A/V systems.

- Barco provides the 12 panels that wrap the building`s exterior, with a total pixel count nearing 3.3 million, along with the LCD monitor wall at the store entrance.

- R/GA is creating content for the interior and exterior signage displays, and proprietary technology that powers "15 Seconds of Fame." The partnership is focused on developing experiences that showcase AEO brands and customers, drawing Times Square visitors from the street into the store.

-ABC Regional Sports & Entertainment Sales, a unit of ABC National Television Sales, is the exclusive advertising sales representative for the technically advanced sign.

"We know that shopping in Times Square is a landmark event for millions of customers who come from around the globe to visit," said Jim O`Donnell, chief executive officer, American Eagle Outfitters. "American Eagle Outfitters` goal is to offer them a retail experience unlike anything they`ve experienced before-even by Times Square standards."


A.C. Moore Improves Out-Of-Stock Conditions with Automated Replenishment

A.C. Moore improves out-of-stock condition for basic crafts products since moving most of its SKUs to automated replenishment. The retailer currently has 30,000 plus SKUs on automated replenishment across all departments with the exception of floral, seasonal and front end check-outs.

"The 2009 rollout for automated replenishment finished about 30 days ahead of our schedule and we now have more than 30,000 SKUs on automated replenishment," says Joe Jeffries, COO, A.C. Moore.

According to Jeffries, in-stocks have continued to improve from a range of 86% to 90% under the store order method to a range of 93% to 96% on auto replenishment.

Heading into 2010, the retailer will add a small group of basic SKUs to auto replenishment in 2010 that were not on its schedule for 2009. These are everyday fore roll and front-end checkout items. According to Jeffries, it will also look for other opportunities to use the auto replenishment system and processes for short life cycle business as a way to more effectively manage inventory at skew and store level.

The retailer also plans to optimize inventory levels by adding a dynamics sales forecasting engine that will be implemented in early 2010. This forecasting engine will provide recommended order quantities to help the retailer maximize return on inventory investment, specifically this tool will provide order points to give optimal placement for inventory investment and in-stock intersect to maximize our profit opportunity.


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