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Industry News - November 21st, 2008



Sport Chalet Re-launches New E-Commerce Web site  

Sport Chalet, a full-service specialty sporting goods store with locations in California, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah, selects the MarketLive E-Commerce Suite for the company's new Web site.

Phase one of the site will launch on November 22, 2008 and will showcase Sport Chalet's winter and holiday merchandise and provide shoppers with innovative Web experiences to increase awareness of merchandise and services available in Sport Chalet's stores. In 2009, Sport Chalet will launch phase two of the site to deliver a fully-integrated online and offline shopping experience for customers, including in-store pickup of items ordered from the site.

"Our ambitious goals for the site meant we needed a partner that had the right combination of advanced yet flexible e-commerce technology, Internet strategy expertise, and best practices know-how," says Craig Levra, chairman and CEO, Sport Chalet. "MarketLive was the right e-commerce platform company for us, and was able to meet our requirements and timeline. We look forward to our partnership with MarketLive as we build our new site and push the boundaries of multi-channel retailing."

To build the new site for Sport Chalet, MarketLive's Customer Service and Internet Straetgy groups will work with Sapient to create site design and product imagery that will help increase sales and promote the Sport Chalet brand. In addition, MarketLive's e-commerce technology platform will be leveraged to allow other Sport Chalet partners to integrate their e-commerce platforms to meet Sport Chalet's goal of delivering a fully-integrated online and offline shopping experience in 2009.

Partners include Baazarvoice for customer ratings and reviews, Experian CheetahMail for email campaign management, and Shopatron for order management, enabling in-store pickup, customer support, and payment processing.


Levi Strauss & Co. Extends E-Commerce Partnership with GSI Commerce

Levis Strauss & Co. announces it has extended its e-commerce agreement with GSI Commerce through 2015. GSI will continue to provide the Levi's brand online store with a full-service, integrated platform which includes e-commerce technology, order management, customer care and fulfillment. Levi's has partnered with GSI since 2005.

The Levi's Web site was recently redesigned to make users' online browsing, shopping and buying experience simpler and more efficient. gsi interactive, the digital marketing and design agency of GSI, added new product imagery, enhanced on-site search capabilities and implemented a parametric search and filtering feature that allows online shoppers to find a specific Levis style and fit of jeans quickly. The new features and enhancements were added and designed based on a customer usability study conducted by gsi interactive in the agency's usability lab.

The Dockers brand online store also is powered by GSI.


Hallmark Canada Adds Merchandising Suite

Hallmark Canada implements Retail.net from Tomax for core merchandising, store operations and customer management, including point-of-sale.

The software will be deployed throughout Hallmark Canada's network of corporate stores and also will be made available to its independent retailer community. Tomax will provide hosting services for the Retail.net solutions, providing managed application and IT services for the combined organization.

"We are excited to provide our retailers with best-in-class retail application services from Tomax." says Chris Kelly, general manager, Hallmark Canada. "These tools will provide the wherewithal for our retailers to compete more effectively, and most importantly, provide higher levels of service."


The Buckle Continues to Drive Multi-Channel Sales and Loyalty

The Buckle renews is contract with Alliance Data Systems to continue providing private label credit card services. A client of Alliance Data's since 1995, The Buckle's fiscal 2007 net sales were nearly $620 million, and year-to-date net sales have increased by approximately 32 percent through September 2008. Under terms of the renewal agreement, Alliance Data will continue providing private label credit card services including account acquisition and activation; receivables funding; card authorization; private label credit card issuance; statement generation; remittance processing; customer service functions; and marketing services to Buckle.

The private label card solution also includes support of Buckle's points-based rewards program, called B-Rewards, where cardholders earn one point for every dollar spent, and receive dollars-off certificates redeemable at Buckle.

"Our long-standing relationship with Alliance Data has developed into a true partnership," says Dennis Nelson, president and chief executive officer, Buckle. "We rely on Alliance Data's industry knowledge and marketing tools to help us attract cardholders and keep them as ongoing guests. Through our partnership, we are able to offer valuable benefits to our most loyal shoppers. We look forward to a continued relationship with Alliance Data as we continue to build upon past successes."


Meijer Selects QuantiSense for BI and Data Warehousing

Meijer implements retail-specific business intelligence (BI) and data warehousing application from QuantiSense. Meijer also chose QuantiSense for a consulting engagement entitled "Developing Your Playbook," built around the signature QuantiSense Playbooks, a set of predefined analytic paths that help take advantage of opportunities and correct recurring problems.

Although Meijer already had a mature data warehouse and sophisticated reporting, the company recognized a need for a stronger context in which to present the data to its users a structured and systematic method that would introduce new metrics and create new paths from exception to action. Meijer uses QuantiSense - built on MicroStrategy's architecture for embedded retail intelligence, role-based dashboards, and Playbooks that weave standardized business processes throughout the enterprise.

Meijer will kick off the QuantiSense implementation with its merchandising team and expects to complete the initial phase in under 100 days. QuantiSense will provide Meijer's merchandising staff with role-based dashboards that present relevant information for each user's department and unique responsibilities. Meijer's users will be able to view exceptions and performance data on the dashboard and easily drill down on any item for granular details. After the initial merchandising roll-out, Meijer plans to expand QuantiSense into other areas of its business such as supply chain services, executive management reporting, consumer insight and more.

"QuantiSense provides Meijer with a strategic platform for transforming the way we disseminate, report and act on information, and it will enable us to link the IT team's operational objectives with the business team's strategic and tactical decision making," says John Agnew, director of merchandising services, Meijer. "We are very pleased that we can get QuantiSense up and running so quickly, and integrating Playbooks into our daily business processes promises to bring a significant competitive advantage for Meijer."


Costco Wholesale Automates Information Management Processes

Costco automates the information management processes of its packaging graphics and marketing communication efforts with Paxonix's PaxPro software. Costco's Marketing Department turned to Paxonix to automate and streamline its processes to help meet increased market demands for its package designs and for providing marketing collateral to its retail locations. Costco needed a comprehensive solution to automate and streamline the project management process.

"Paxonix was the best solution for Costco as we look to increase efficiencies and accelerate time to market with new products," says Bev Akada, assistant vice president of corporate communications, Costco. "By utilizing Paxonix, we will automate and streamline our processes, freeing up our staff to focus on even greater innovation and speed to market across everything we produce within our department."

Previously, Costco relied on Excel, desktop tools and printed proofs to manage the process. The organization was in search of a flexible and easy-to-use system to automate the process and make critical information accessible to key personnel at any time during the creative process. A Web-based solution, PaxPro will provide Costco real-time visibility across projects, which helps enable a faster approval process helps project managers plan, execute and deliver projects on time.

Costco was impressed with PaxPro's intelligent forms, PaxForms, to help connect people, processes and data with the company's business rules and accelerate time to market. By leveraging PaxForms, Costco will streamline data capture, information sharing and approval processes, help reduce errors and deliver information faster to decision makers.


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