Chico’s Protects Confidential Information

To assure it doesn’t become a victim of a hacking attack, Chico’s FAS is taking proactive measures to protect sensitive company information. By adding Document Control software from Liquid Machines, Waltham, Mass., the women’s apparel specialty retailer is securing and controlling access to its most critical and sensitive proprietary data.

Chico’s operates more than 800 stores across the United States, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico under the Chico’s, White House|Black Market, Soma by Chico’s and Fitigues banners. All merchandise, which is designed by the company’s in-house product development team, bears each brand’s trademark. It remains confidential until it is made publicly available in stores, online or in company catalogs.

But as businesses, such as Chico’s, become more global, they rely on external partners and suppliers to create merchandise and conduct business. These partners also need access to sensitive company information.

To ensure it is not hacked, “Chico’s protects critical information across all of our brands, from our product design, purchasing and sales information to our marketing plans and new product introductions,” said Ed Martin, information security manager for Chico’s Retail Services, Inc.

By using Liquid Machines Document Control solution, documents are encrypted and can only be opened by authorized users. Windows-based login credentials authenticate users.

The solution provides an audit trail as the data travels from machine to machine, within and beyond the enterprise. It also alerts managers to fraudulent attempts by unauthorized parties to copy any information.

The solution is deployed on users’ PCs.

“Liquid Machines is an important part of our intellectual property protection strategy, giving us the confidence to share confidential information with authorized associates,” Martin said.

As We Go to Press…

As of June 15, the Retail Systems Alert Group (RSAG), Upper Newton Falls, Mass., shut down its operations due to a loss of financing.

The 20-year-old research and media company created its reputation by delivering high-value products and services to educate the extended retail industry, and enhance the customer experience. Last year, RSAG switched back to its “content roots,” to deliver this expertise through research studies, Webinars and industry events targeting C-level executives.

“We assembled the best research team in the business and have been delivering great content to the industry since early last year,” Brian Kilcourse, president of RSAG, said in a statement.

The continuing demise of traditional trade shows, however, pushed the company to transition its 17-year-old Retail Systems Conference & Expo to the more intimate ERI eXchange, the Conference and Expo for Extended Retail Industry, which debuted last month.

“Unfortunately, the ‘wait and see’ reaction we received from the ERI eXchange put us in a position that was too difficult to get out of,” he said.

[While we wished we could have] “become the premiere content provider in the industry, we are proud of what we’ve accomplished, and we value the relationships we have built,” Kilcourse noted.

Marc Jacobs Adds Solution to Support PLM

In an effort to effectively manage the life cycle of its products, Marc Jacobs International is integrating a product life-cycle management (PLM) solution.

Product life-cycle management systems support the management of a portfolio of merchandise’s processes and services from initial concept through design, launch, production and shipment to the selling floor. The TXTPERFORM solution from TXT e-solutions is based on flexible and modular architecture, and uses a powerful repository of product data.

The system’s central product-information repository supports the overall collection/product lifetime and the wide supply network. Meanwhile, the solution promises to reduce time to market, improve product quality, reduce prototyping costs, deliver savings by re-using original data, optimizing product assortments and integrating the demand-driven supply chain.

“TXT has in-depth expertise in the unique complexities of the luxury fashion industry, and the solution is ideally suited to manage the extremely short life cycles of our products,” according to a Marc Jacobs spokesman.

“The solution is flexible. It can be tailored to our immediate needs, then extended later, and it can be deployed extremely fast,” he said. “We expect to be up and running in less than three months. That will enable us to realize the benefits almost immediately.”

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