CHICAGO — Merchandising and allocation systems were top of mind for many retailers and exhibitors attending Retail Systems in Chicago last week.
Pacific Sunwear of California is gearing up to find — and implement, in 2006 — an advanced suite of planning software, said Ron Ehlers, vice president, information services. The tool could prove particularly valuable as Pacific Sunwear tests new product categories such as bedding, lamps, luggage and other accessories for its young customers.
Barneys New York is rolling out a new merchandising program and distribution system to accommodate anticipated growth, now that the company has been bought by Jones Apparel Group. The luxury retailer's plans were detailed by Jones president and chief executive officer Peter Boneparth in the keynote speech that opened the show.
Boneparth also gave attendees an overview of the $4.65 billion Jones business, which is focused on the customer and giving her what she wants, he said. To keep pace, some of Jones' key technology initiatives include:
Electronic data interchange with retailers (via the QRS Tradeweave online catalogue).
Systems that allow the company to test items and quickly react to results.
Product life cycle management software from UGS Corp.
The company has finished phase one of its three-part rollout of the PLM software, according to QPS. Boneparth also described areas of growth for the company, which include expansion into China; growing what he called the mass market end of the Anne Klein business, AK Anne Klein; buying boutique brands such as Bridget Shuster shoes, and opening new retail formats, such as the recently introduced Trezon plus-size stores.
Among exhibitors, one of the new companies at the conference, Apex Decisions of Savage, Minn., showed off its forthcoming allocation service, which automatically redistributes sizes, colors and styles of merchandise between individual stores based on the first two weeks of sales.
In his keynote the next day, Best Buy executive vice president of operations Bob Willett detailed the $27.4 billion chain's plan to simplify technology behind the scenes.
The consumer electronics retailer uses five software packages to automate the process of scheduling labor. Also in use are seven order management systems, three tax applications and four separate warehouse management systems."This is commonly referred to as a 'hair ball,'" Willett said. A great number of technologies that do not interconnect well can choke processes and stall decision-making.
"Today, you have no time to make very complex decisions and that [means] you need a different operating model," he said.
Best Buy's new model, which puts its weighty technology infrastructure on a diet, is projected to reduce information technology cost to 1.5 percent of sales from the 2.1 percent of sales it represents today, Willett said.
When the transformation is complete in two years, Best Buy expects the 800 technologies that create a hair ball of complexity will be scaled back to just 240 technologies.
"The whole message here is simplicity," Willett said of the new infrastructure plan.
@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)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews