CHICAGO — Jones Apparel Group is planning a technology-driven initiative to boost inventory turns and margins through advanced pricing practices.
The apparel company will unveil on Monday plans to roll out price optimization software to nearly 1,000 of its mall and outlet stores, starting this fall with footwear stores including Nine West and Easy Spirit, followed by apparel stores such as Jones and Anne Klein early next year. Specialty store division Barneys New York is not involved.
Testing is under way now and a 60- to 90-day pilot in Bandolino footwear stores begins next month, followed by a rapid ramp-up to other footwear divisions, Nine West chief operating officer Bill Tracy told WWD.
"We feel very confident that once we get past the pilot stage, this will be very well embraced and we'll see significant positive impact to comp-store sales growth and also to our margins as well as inventory turn," Tracy said. (For the quarter ended April 7, overall comp-store sales were down 5 percent and outlet footwear stores down 12.3 percent.)
The software, from Oracle, generates pricing recommendations by analyzing a host of variables influencing demand such as seasonality, price elasticity and even inventory presentation in store.
Tracy, who calls himself a champion of the project along with Jones executive vice president and chief technology officer Paul Lanham, said there are important benefits for the 228-store Nine West division in particular. Nine West's new design, now in 14 stores, has more of a boutique presentation and an edited assortment.
"It is a lot cleaner look, easier to shop and less clutter, so there are fewer [stockkeeping units] displayed in the store at one time," Tracy said. "Having this type of tool will certainly help us maximize the inventory turn and allow us to get new fashion right and new trends to the selling floor faster."
The $4.7 billion Jones Apparel Group will spend more than $1 million on price optimization technology and expects a "significant" return on investment based on the experiences of other retailers using the software, Tracy added.
From overseeing America’s fastest-growing speciality retailers to codifying cool, WWD talked to the women who are leading the way for the future of beauty. Check out our Instagram Stories to see how these women built today and are creating tomorrow. (📸: @hannah_khymych) #wwdbeauty
For @laperlalingerie's spring 2018 show, the brand chose to host their event at @thevenetianmacao. With Chinese megastars @bingbing_fan and @hubing in attendance, La Perla debuted a rock ‘n’ roll-inspired collection. The show marked the start of Sands Macao Fashion Week, which runs from October 19 to 24 — the city’s first such event. Pictured here are models backstage with glimmering eyes. #wwdfashion (📷: Cheuk-Yin To)
Trending for spring 2018: top stitch design. Gone are the days of stitch just for seams — designers are using the once-minimal detail to create strong decorative elements. (📷: Paola Testa; Styled by @andrew_shang) #wwdfashion
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)