AAFES plans integrated e-commerce site
Dallas – The Army Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) has awarded a multi-year contract to SpeedFC to build and maintain an integrated e-commerce platform, replacing a proprietary legacy environment. The SpeedFC solution will incorporate Oracle’s ATG platform for back-end systems, Speed Order, the vendor’s proprietary system for order management, Omniture for analytics and Endeca for guided navigation, faceted search and search administration.
“One of our strategic priorities is improving online offerings and the user experience,” said AAFES director/CEO Tom Shull. “Whether in-store or online, it is extremely important that we make the same Exchange benefit available to all soldiers, airmen, their families and retirees, regardless of where they are stationed or by what means they prefer to shop.”
As part of this integration, the AAFES call center will move from a direct in-house operation to an outsourced solution located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. The fully integrated solution will allow best practice efficiencies which include order management, call center operations as well as warehouse fulfillment services. AAFES plans to expand its online inventory in time for the 2013 holiday season.
Report: TJ Maxx, Saks Off Fifth eye online sales
Framingham, Mass. – Discount retailers TJ Maxx and Saks Off Fifth outlets are reportedly planning to enter the online sales arena this year. According to Reuters, TJ Maxx parent company TJX Cos. will be making its second attempt at launching a TJ Maxx e-commerce site after a failed attempt in 2005 that cost the company $15 million.
TJ Maxx has apparently been working on its e-commerce launch for a while. The chain hired e-commerce executive Elaine Boltz in 2011 and purchased pure-play e-commerce retailer Sierra Trading for $200 million in 2012.
Meanwhile, Saks Off Fifth is currently undergoing a three-year, $95 million systems renovation to support e-commerce operations and is spending an additional $6 million to commence online commerce this year instead of next year. Reuters quotes Saks CEO Steve Sadove as saying Saks Off Fifth will have a limited online assortment mostly comprised of top selling merchandise.
Report: IT spend migrates beyond CIO
Franklin, Tenn. – More than $11.6 billion of retail IT spending, or 35% of the total, will come from budgets other than that of the CIO. Of that total “black ops” IT spend, $6.6 billion will come from the activities of the CMO and their purchases of hardware, software, SaaS, and services outside of the CIO budget.
As indicated in the new IHL Group study “Black Ops IT,” the CMO represents an increase in IT spending of 15% in the last two years and is driving a huge part of the overall IT spending Increase. IHL analysis shows that a $1 billion specialty soft goods retailer will have an average black ops IT spend totaling $17.6 million that comes from budgets outside of the CIO’s, including CMO, store ops, HR, and purchasing.