Harry & David’s IT platform supports assortment planning across its channels.

Harry & David Adds New IT Platform

Tired of struggling to gain more visibility and efficiencies across its retail and wholesale businesses, Harry & David Operations Corp., Medford, Ore., is adding an integrated IT platform from SAP America.

The well-known multi-channel gourmet-food retailer has been a gift-giving resource for more than 70 years, and the company is poised for more growth. “The seasonality of our business demands a platform that can rapidly scale and meet our ever-changing needs,” said Joe Foley, CIO, Harry & David Holdings.

Realizing it needed an integrated business model, Harry & David began searching for a single operating platform that would enable the company to absorb operating costs and provide a foundation for growth. The SAP for Retail suite from Newtown Square, Pa.-based SAP America, a subsidiary of Germany-based SAP AG, promises to fulfill these requirements.

By leveraging the suite’s merchandise and assortment planning, and forecasting and replenishment modules, Harry & David can pursue more targeted merchandise selections in its retail stores. It will also support demand-driven processes and inventory management across its wholesale operations.

The company will initially apply the solution among its food and beverage offerings. The next stage is to apply SAP’s ERP (enterprise resource planning) financials module.

Giant Eagle Creates Unified Store Experience

Giant Eagle, Pittsburgh, tapped long-time technology partner IBM, Armonk, N.Y., when it was ready to establish a unified shopping experience across its network of stores.

Focused on providing its shoppers with the highest quality foods and convenient services, Giant Eagle needed a technology infrastructure that could deliver a consistent, standard integration architecture for in-store applications. IBM’s Store Integration Framework, which is built on Java 2 Enterprise edition (J2EE) architectures and open standards, fit the bill.

The chain’s first priority was to use the infrastructure to connect its GetGo c-store IT systems with its IBM SurePOS ACE for 4690 operating system. This will enable all fuel stations to be used as virtual POS devices. The framework also supports the acceptance of the Giant Eagle Advantage loyalty card at nontraditional POS units, such as fuel pumps.

The framework is also supporting the addition of IBM’s Personal Shopping Assistant (PSA) solution that features Cuesol’s Cart Companion software and Motorola’s portable shopping devices. Now shoppers can automatically scan and bag groceries as they shop. They also pay for groceries at a dedicated checkout station. The PSA solution is currently available in five Giant Eagle supermarkets.

“Through the use of open systems and standards, the IBM framework ensures we can improve connectivity and reduce the time it takes to roll out new innovations and promotions,” said Russ Ross, senior VP and CIO, Giant Eagle.

The Children’s Place Enhances Merchandise Planning

A complex planning process prompted The Children’s Place Retail Stores Inc. to search for a flexible, integrated solution that would connect the financial and merchandise-planning operations across its Disney Store brand. The chain found its ideal solution from long-time partner, SAS, Cary, N.C.

By adding the SAS Integrated Merchandise Planning suite, the retailer is preparing to use business intelligence to manage financial planning, assortment planning, forecasting and in-store management for more than 300 Disney stores.

“The solution will help us streamline planning, reduce ad hoc reporting needs and decrease the time we spend gathering data,” said Richard Flaks, senior VP, planning allocation and IT, The Children’s Place, Secaucus, N.J.

“This will afford our team more time to evaluate optimal business scenarios and make smarter decisions,” he added. “The solution’s combination of integrated merchandise planning, powerful analytics, usability and scalability establishes a platform for us to grow on.”

SAS’ integrated merchandise-planning solution also will help Disney Store meet the challenges of the rapidly changing environment, according to SAS.

The chain is currently implementing the solution. SAS declined to reveal when the installation will be complete.

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