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Industry News - April 30th 2010



Hudson’s Bay Uses Order Management to Gain Cross-Channel Visibility

Hudson's Bay adds Sterling Order Management to manage its order lifecycle as well as manage its big ticket items, such as furniture, large appliances and electronics that require home delivery, warranty and post-sales service.

"The furniture business involves an extremely complex transaction with finishing, delivery, warranty and after-sale considerations," said Tom Schuetz, vice president of Information Technology at Hudson's Bay Company. "Sterling Order Management will not only improve efficiencies in our furniture business and enable us to better serve our customers, but will extend our cross-channel selling capabilities, allowing us to centralize and optimize fulfillment while driving customer satisfaction."

Hudson's Bay Company chooses Store Order Management as part of a broader effort to create efficiencies and implement systems which help the company deliver better customer service. Sterling Order Management helps create an enterprise order hub that offers visibility and control of the customer order lifecycle, more flexibility in resolving exceptions and access to customer information. For example, Hudson's Bay Company's store associates can now help customers place orders within the store for home delivery from a store, warehouse or vendor drop-ship. The solution also will be used to schedule home delivery as well as collaborate with the home delivery providers. 

The retailer uses Sterling Order Management to enable flexible fulfillment for all cross-channel orders or brand where the order was captured. Sterling Order Management worked with Sterling Commerce business integration solutions, such as Sterling Collaboration Network, to help Hudson's Bay Company create efficiencies through optimizing inventory across all its channels. Sterling Collaboration Network is a hosted service that provides secureconnectivity and collaboration between businesses, to collaborate with its suppliers.


Michaels Re-platforms Web Site to Improve Social Experience

Michaels Stores re-launches its Web site on the Demandware E-Commerce Platform. The site redesign includes improved search and navigation, customer reviews and enhanced social networking capabilities. 

Michaels Stores site re-launch focuses on providing a distinctive and social experience to its visitors. New features on the site will include enhanced customer ratings and product reviews, as well as rich media. Michaels.com will also feature a hosted social community, contests and user-generated content that will help educate online customers.

"Michaels.com will become an online destination that fosters creativity and informs purchasing decisions, which will drive online visitors back to our physical stores," said John Rowe, general manager of strategic marketing, Michaels Stores. "Demandware provides out-of-box functionality that is scalable to our growing brand and future ecommerce needs, and will help inspire our customers with a seamless cross-channel experience.'"


J.C. Penney Commits to $5B Investment Plan

J.C. Penney recently unveiled plans to invest $5 billion to accelerate business transformation. In its 2010 analyst/investor meeting, the company announced operational and financial targets that span the next five years, which reflect a focus on driving profitable, top-line growth and expanding market share. 

"It's a new day at J.C. Penney thanks to the steps we have taken to be a style destination, to develop sophisticated technology and tools to manage our business, and to be in an exceptionally strong financial position," said Myron E. (Mike) Ullman, III, chairman and CEO, J.C. Penney. "We are now focused on taking our transformation to the next level by introducing new initiatives in support of our vision to be America's favorite shopping destination for great styles at compelling prices. As we do this, we intend to drive profitable sales growth, enhance our financial performance and achieve industry leadership."

Below are some of the key initiatives and long-range financial performance targets that the company has committed to for the next five years:

-By the end of fiscal 2014, the company expects total sales to increase over $5 billion to reach approximately $23 billion. This is expected to be driven primarily by comparable store sales growth. 

-Gross margin is expected to increase to approximately 40 percent of sales, but total operating expenses should decline as a percent of sales, and operating income is expected to steadily increase over the period and be approximately 9 to 10 percent by 2014. This is in the range of the company's historical peak of 9.7 percent achieved in 2006. 

-The company's cash flow is expected to increase from approximately $200 million in 2010 to $500 million in 2014. 

-Capital expenditure levels are expected to increase over the period to include new store growth as the commercial real estate market and consumer economy recover. 
-In the early years of the plan, capital expenditures will be focused on ongoing existing store renovation and the continued rollout of the highly successful Sephora inside J.C. Penney concept.

-Returns on capital and financial leverage metrics are expected to be in alignment with retail industry leaders at the end of the five-year period. 


Gap Implements On-Demand Campaign Management System

Gap adds a campaign management solution from CisionPoint to monitor media as well as analyze and report on coverage. Prior to choosing the CisionPoint on-demand PR software platform, Gap used multiple products from other vendors to track print, broadcast and online media. 

Gap also uses the Cision Media Database and Cision's premium media profiles for detailed insight on the people and outlets that cover their industry. Based in San Francisco, Gap offers clothing, accessories and personal care products under the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime and Athleta brand names. It operates about 3,100 stores in the U.S., Canada, U.K., France, Ireland and Japan, and reported revenues of $14.2 billion during 2009.


Performance Bicycle Adds Distributed Order Management to Optimize Cross-Channel Business

Performance, which operates specialty cycling retailers Performance Bicycle and Nashbar, selects Distributed Order Management from the Manhattan SCOPE supply chain portfolio to help manage its cross-channel operations. 

The retailer uses Distributed Order Management from Manhattan Associates Performance to help better execute strategic cross-channel business processes that include buy online/ pickup in-store, vendor drop shipment orchestration and order fulfillment from internal distribution centers as well as centers operated by third-party logistics providers.

"Manhattan's Distributed Order Management solution will enable us to optimize our cross-channel retailing strategy while lowering our supply chain costs," said Jane Parker, Vice President of Warehouse Operations, Performance. "In addition, the Manhattan platform will give us the advantage of end-to-end integration of Distributed Order Management with our current Manhattan Warehouse Management solution."

Performance Bicycle offers three great ways to shop: by store, by catalog and online at PerformanceBike.com. Performance also offers the "Deal of the Day," which guests can find on the Web site or by following Performance on Twitter, www.twitter.com/@performance_inc.


Retail Deals Fuel Growth at Manhattan Associates

Manhattan Associates announces that retail is making a strong contribution to its license fees and fueling growth for the company. 

According to the company's President and CEO, Pete Sinisgalli, the company is seeing pent-up demand in the retail vertical as the company looks towards making improvements to their supply chains. Sinisgalli also notes that the company's pipelines and activity look solid.

Additionally, the company sees increasing demand for its Life Cycle Management Solution, which allows companies to look across their extended supply chain to better leverage inventory across, whether it's an online offering, a retail offering, or a catalog offering. The solution helps retailers more efficiently manage their extended supply chain and allocate across different demand repositories.


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