Apparel retailer Jacques Vert to overhaul IT systems
Markham, Ontario — Canadian womenswear retailer Jacques Vert said Monday it has partnered with merchandise assortment and allocation solution-provider Maple Lake to implement an IT overhaul.
The retailer said it will implement Maple Lake’s QuickAssortment merchandise and assortment planning software as well as Retail Assist’s supply chain ERP solution Merret early in 2011.
The implementations will be part of an investment in its online platform and other systems over the next 18 months, said Jacques Vert.
“We need to be more reactive and operate a more effective supply chain to remain ahead of the competition,” says Ian Johnson, group finance director at Jacques Vert. “This means continually monitoring trends and identifying best sellers so that popular lines can be quickly replenished throughout the season.”
By using more sophisticated technology, the retailer said it anticipates reducing lead times by working more closely with suppliers and sharing more accurate sales data. Currently, planning for new lines is done a long time in advance, with limited repeat buys.
Johnson said the company has been relying on largely manual processes and complex spreadsheets for merchandise planning, and an ERP legacy system for supply chain management. He said that the Maple Lake and Merret software will feed data directly into its other IT systems, giving a single cohesive view to help improve performance management and financial reporting across the business.
Jacques Vert operates more than 1,000 high-street outlets in the United Kingdom under four banners: Jacques Vert, PLANET, Precis and Windsmoor.
Survey: Holiday sales to hit $519 billion; strongest growth will be in electronics
New York City — Holiday retail sales will grow by a strong 4.5% [+/- 0.5%] year-over-year to a record $519 billion, according to retail consulting and research firm Customer Growth Partners, New Canaan, Conn.
“Consumers have endured over two years of economic body blows, but have been slowly picking themselves off the mat since last year, despite the employment woes,” said Craig Johnson, president Consumer Growth Partners (CPG). “The 83% of Americans with full-time jobs are beginning to spend again, and they will drive retailers to the best year-over-over holiday sales growth since 2005.”
CGP’s 4.5% forecast for the November-December holiday shopping season is above consensus estimates of 2% to 3% growth (National Retail Federation has forecast growth of 2.3%). The CGP forecast includes direct-to-consumer sales, primarily e-commerce sales, which are excluded in NRF’s forecast. Direct sales have been the fastest growing segment of retail since the 1990’s, and in 2009 represented some 10% of total holiday sales.
- Among merchandise categories, the strongest growth will come in electronics and appliances, up some 6%, led primarily by e-reader, iPad and mobile phone growth — and secondarily by major appliances, which will exceed their surprise performance at last year’s Black Friday sales.
- Pent-up demand will drive home-related categories to their strongest growth in half a decade, over 5%, including both home-furnishings and home-improvement retailers.
- Discount and other value retailers will continue to shine in holiday 2010, led by off-price retailers such as TJX and Ross Stores, low-priced “fast fashionistas” such as Forever 21 H&M and Love Culture, and big boxers such as Costco and an outperforming Target.
- Sweaters will remain the single most common holiday gift — and may well see a sharp increase as consumers stock up before near Civil War record cotton prices work their way through the supply chain early next year.
- Traditional holiday retail categories will enjoy a stellar year, including luxury segments such as jewelry, and toys, where expanded distribution — e.g. Toys “R” Us’ pop-up stores — and strong competition from Walmart and Target will drive sales.
Subway opens 500 locations in third quarter
New York City — Subway announced that it opened 500 new locations in third quarter 2010, or from July 1 to Sept. 30. The chain said its franchisees opened units in 45 counties, 42 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and four Canadian provinces.
Highlights for the period include reaching more than 33,500 locations worldwide, of which 9,900 can be found in international markets. Of special note is the milestone of 1,100 restaurants reached by the McLean, Va.-Subway Development Corp. of Washington, the company that oversees the chain’s single largest development territory, which includes all of Virginia and Delaware, Washington, D.C., and most of Maryland.