Francesca's

Following strong, first-quarter results last month, Steve Madden is turning to technology to help elevate the in-store experience for consumers, including using Multimedia Plus’ Incite mobile app solution for training store associates.

Terms of the investment deal were not disclosed. And it’s the same technology that Tiffany & Co. used to help bolster its results this past quarter.

According to Multimedia Plus, the deployment of the technology will provide communications and training to the “frontline” professionals at Steve Madden’s U.S. retail locations. David Harouche, founder and chief executive officer of Multimedia Plus, said technology in the retail industry “is changing rapidly, yet exceeding customer expectations never goes out of style.” He explained that the partnership aims to help enhance the Steve Madden brick-and-mortar experience by enabling its “sales associates [to] have intimate knowledge of products [so they can] drive engagement on the selling floor.”

David Harouche

David Harouche  Courtesy image.

Specifically, the company said the Incite program offers associates “ongoing day-to-day updates, [as well as the] skill-building and brand strategies required in today’s fast-paced world of in-store retail.” These areas range from “problem-solving techniques” to “up-selling and cross-selling opportunities.”

Additionally, the platform is set to incorporate features like video sans streaming, and “real-time results.” Stuart Fishman, senior vice president of retail operations at Steve Madden, said the collaboration with Multimedia Plus, allows “the sales associates [to] become true ambassadors. They [can] own their own personalized development and are able to build long-term relationships with customers.”

Separately, Multimedia Plus said Francesca’s extended its contract with the company for another five years. The specialty retailer has been a client of the technology firm for four years. Terms of the renewal were not disclosed.

David Minnix, executive vice president and chief boutiques officer at Francesca’s, described the Incite platform as “a critical tool in helping to develop team members that are passionate, motivated and prepared to reach their fullest potential and achieve their personal aspirations.”

“Our team members’ ownership of their development, coupled with the support and positive impact from our leaders, has assisted us in building long-term relationships with our guests,” Minnix said. “The platform has been more than a technology accessory, it has been a proven tool that is part of our successful formula.”

Meanwhile, last week, Tiffany & Co. delivered quarterly sales and profits that were ahead of analysts’ consensus estimates, according to S&P Capital IQ. The company told investors that investments in products, technology, the supply chain and its e-commerce site are paying off. And so is the in-store experience, which included using the Multimedia Plus training platform.

On a conference call with analysts, Alessandro Bogliolo, ceo and director of Tiffany & Co., said “there is another factor that I would like to underline. What we have done has been to work a lot with our colleagues, with our sales associates. There has been a very extensive training program, really focused on the engagement jewelry, especially on the diamonds, on the sourcing of the diamonds, on the quality of Tiffany diamonds. And this has been, in my opinion, a very important factor also of the results of our sales.”

Other Multimedia Plus clients include Brooks Brothers and Kate Spade New York.

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