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Adidas, New York City

BY CSA STAFF
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The new, 45,000-sq.-ft. adidas flagship in New York City is the athletic giant’s largest store in the world — and its most brand immersive.

Sleek and ultra-modern looking, the store marks the debut of adidas’ stadium retail concept, which is inspired by high school stadiums and celebrates creativity in sport. It features a tunnel entrance, high-school reminiscent bleacher stands for live-game viewing on big screens, locker room-styled dressing rooms and track and turf sections where customers can try out products.

Among the services offered are real-time fitness consultations from trainers, an area selling healthy juices and snacks, a concierge desk, a same-day hotel delivery service, and such personalized shopping experiences as a running gait analysis tool. There is also a print shop for on-site jersey customization and a studio for footwear customization.

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Exclusive: Cavender’s saddles up for cloud-based WFM

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

It’s not easy for a family-owned company to phase out its homegrown systems in favor of automation.

Cavender’s Boot City has not only taken this bold step, but it’s upping the ante even further as it transitions its workforce management (WFM) platform to the cloud.

Cavender’s is a 90-year-old western specialty retailer that continues to grow — even while it maintained homegrown IT systems, including a legacy-based WFM operations.

With an eye on streamlining operations however, in 2012, the company transitioned its manual WFM systems to automated solutions from Kronos, including time and attendance, human resources, and payroll applications. The solutions produced positive results, so Cavender’s kept adding new applications to the mix, including scheduling software.

Now Cavender’s is moving its WFM platform to the cloud.

“When you are a private company that kept experiencing growth even with homegrown systems, you take pride in your progress and your competitive information,” Monica Rattay, the chain’s VP of store operations told Chain Store Age at the recent KronosWorks User Conference. “You are also very cautious and don’t to want to let go of your mission-critical information —especially within a competitive landscape.”

Leaving its apprehension behind, the western-based specialty retailer began its journey into the cloud during first quarter 2016. Its first task: transitioning its payroll module. In addition to training store and district managers on the new cloud-based solution, the chain also had to take into account a very diverse pay scale.

“Besides hourly workers and full-time employees, we also have commissioned-based associates,” explained Cynthia Campbell, the chain’s accounting manager. “Meanwhile, commission scales vary by state, making pay structures even more complex.”

Challenges aside, the company anticipates how its cloud-based solution will deliver more support across payroll operations. Besides delivering faster implementation speeds, the virtual software will streamline geographic distribution, and access to software updates.

The agility of the cloud also reduces the burden on internal IT staff and frees up investment capital since Cavender’s doesn’t have to invest in licenses and on-premise implementations. The retailer also no longer needs to rely on in-house resources to manage, scale, and upgrade packaged, homegrown, or aging applications.

Last month, Cavender’s completely migrated its human resources, accruals, and timekeeper processes to the cloud, and all are available to users across the chain’s 74 stores, as well as its distribution center, web fulfillment center and administrative offices. Within this one short month, Cavender’s is already reducing processing time.

“For example, one of our interfaces that calculates Fair Labor Standards Act [FLSA] overtime [paid commissions] for our employees now runs much faster than before — five minutes compared to over an hour,” Campbell explained.

The platform has been “a benefit for our store managers who are becoming more effective at managing complex payroll structures, and they are getting back time that can be reinvested into the stores,” Rattay said.

Next, Cavender’s will transition the portfolio’s hiring and talent acquisition, analytics and mobility modules to the cloud, Campbell said. These solutions will be ramped up throughout 2017.

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Big Lots raises outlook

BY Marianne Wilson

Big Lots raised its full-year guidance even as it posted a sales decline in its first quarter.

The discounter reported net income of $1.4 million amid improving profit margins, after reporting a loss in the same period a year earlier. Gross profit margin edged up by nearly a full percentage point to 40% of sales.

Revenue fell 1% to $1.11 billion, just missing Street forecasts. Same-store sales were flat.

“We are pleased to report in a challenging retail environment the team delivered upon our financial commitments,” said David Campisi, CEO and president. “Sales were in line with our communicated guidance while EPS was above our expectations.”

Campisi said Big Lots’ core customers continues to positively respond “to our focus on ownable and winnable merchandise categories, improved merchandise presentations and more consistent in-store execution."

Big Lots raised its profit outlook for the year and now expects adjusted earnings to improve by as much as 20% over last year. The chain previously predicted an 18% gain.

Big Lots expects overall same-store sales of about 2% for the full year.

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