Whether merchandising for its retail stores, retail partners, or its new e-commerce sites, Perry Ellis Internationalâ€™s main goal for 2007 is to deliver product based on its consumersâ€™ needs. By leveraging a new retail platform, Perry Ellisâ€™ plans are right on target to improve its merchandising and markdown operations, as well as its store-level and online customer relationships.
The Miami-based company features a portfolio of 27 well-known brands, including Perry Ellis, Axis, Savan, Farah, Original Penguin, Cubavera, Ping Collection, Nike Swim and Jantzen. The company, which had $849.41 million in sales in fiscal 2006, sells this merchandise across 12,500 locations, including its own Perry Ellis outlets and Penguin boutiques, as well as throughout high-end department stores, including Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus.
â€śBuilding a business on multiple brands and multichannel distribution means we must focus on our customer needs,â€ť Luis Paez, Perry Ellisâ€™ CIO, told Chain Store Age.
â€śWe do this by mining point-of-sale data collected from each location. We also use Geographic Information System [GIS] software and custom programs to predict trends and analyze POS down to the SKU at store level,â€ť he added. â€śThese strategies enable us to target the right product to the right market.â€ť
Based on past successes, Paez expects this strategy to fuel the companyâ€™s future expansion. Besides selling branded merchandise across retail customer locations, for example, Perry Ellis hopes to add 200 more boutiquesâ€”including Perry Ellis-owned banners as well as real estate within its retail partnersâ€™ sales floorsâ€”within five years.
â€śHowever, we need integrated systems to support this,â€ť he added.
Two years ago, the company began its search for an open retail platform that would help manage and scale its owned stores. The ideal solution would also leverage data to support its e-commerce business, and enable Perry Ellisâ€™ planners, merchandisers and retail customers to collaborate on retail trends and markdowns.
In early summer 2006, the company teamed up with Oracle Corp., Redwood City, Calif., and began adding the Oracle Retail Merchandising System.
First, Perry Ellis used the solution to manage markdowns across its retail customers.
Retail customer POS data is filtered directly into Oracle Retail, Paez said, and then imported into the platformâ€™s Oracle Price module that calculates markdown recommendations. A customized interface connects retail customers to mark-down recommendations electronically, allowing the company to reduce retail markdowns while increasing sales.
The platform will help Perry Ellis achieve its newest goal for 2007: launching a successful e-commerce strategy.
The company embarked on this strategy in June 2006, when it launched its Original Penguin Web site,
â€śHaving near-real-time [item-movement] information is a necessity for our e-commerce strategy. We want to be able to calculate demand,â€ť Paez noted.
With the help of the Oracle platform, Perry Ellis can more easily achieve this level. Similar to its offline operations, Perry Ellis will monitor online consumer purchase behavior and filter item-movement data into the Oracle platform to determine which items to promote.
â€śThe sites provide a measure weâ€™ve never had beforeâ€¦and can teach us how to use online advertising to create lift at retail stores rather than simply mark down product,â€ť he said.