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BY CSA STAFF

Abercrombie & Fitch, New Albany, Ohio, has entered into a partnership with Oracle Retail that will support the deployment of the Redwood City, Calif.-based vendor’s merchandising, planning, supply chain and stores solutions. The retailer will also license Oracle’s back-office technology. The solutions will replace the retailer’s legacy systems.

The first step in the project will be to improve access to foundational data and to support more efficient core merchandising capabilities across the business. From there, Abercrombie & Fitch will layer functionality within supply chain operations and then it will phase in store operations.

Office-supply retailer Staples Inc., Framingham, Mass., will deploy nearly 8,000 point-of-sale terminals in the United States, Canada and Europe through a three-year technology and services contract with Fujitsu Transaction Solutions, Frisco, Texas. The project is a continuation of a 20-year-plus relationship between the retailer and vendor.

Staples will add a combination of TeamPoS 2000 and TeamPoS 3000 POS terminals, which promise reliability, faster throughput and support for the latest peripheral technology. Meanwhile, iPAD wireless handhelds will be used for inventory management and line-busting applications.

According to the contract, Fujitsu will stage, manage and install all in-store computer configurations, including hardware upgrades and replacement, as well as procure solutions. The vendor will also maintain multi-vendor devices, provide tactical help-desk support and include services, including wiring, refurbishing and disposal.

Overall, the retailer expects the project to reduce in-store technology costs and bolster customer service.

Staten Island, N.Y.-based Key Food Stores Co-Operative Inc. recently added a new computer-assisted ordering solution to streamline orders placed to its wholesaler.

Besides adding the client server solution from BRdata, Melville, N.Y., the supermarket company also replaced its old Symbol MSI ordering units with new Symbol 9090 graphical units from Agilysys.

The new configuration enables the supermarket co-op to maintain one centralized database at its corporate office. This repository includes data on authorized items, cost and allowance information.

Each day, Key Food stores send their orders to the corporate office via the wireless handheld. These updates are loaded and centralized within the BRdata Host solution, which connects with the CAO Module.

The module presents users with all of the necessary information required to optimize the ordering process, ensuring that they are ordering the correct quantities at the lowest possible cost. Approved orders are then sent to the co-op’s wholesaler, C&S Wholesale Grocers.

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Winn-Dixie team honored for turnaround

BY CSA STAFF

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. The team that lead Winn-Dixie Stores’ successful turnaround initiative is being honored by the Turnaround Management Association for the best ‘Mega Company Turnaround’ for 2007. Comprised of financial experts from The Blackstone Group, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Smith Hulsey & Busey, the team helped Winn-Dixie regain the market share and profits it started to lose in the mid 1990s and early 2000s to competitors Publix and Wal-Mart.

Winn-Dixie filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in early 2005 after reporting  year-to-date losses of $552.8 million or $3.93 per share of common stock and a decline of 4.9% in identical-store sales in its second fiscal quarter over the same period in 2004.

 

Despite the difficulty of achieving a succesful turnaround, Winn-Dixie began its reorganization effort, while still continuing to operate its core business and preserving jobs. According to the Turnaround Management Association, it created new common stock for five classes of unsecured creditors, with recoveries ranging from about 96% to 53%. The company emerged from bankruptcy on Nov. 21, 2006.

For its fiscal year ended June 27, Winn-Dixie reported adjusted EBITDA of  $85.9 million compared to a loss of $27.8 million last year and an identical-store sales increase of 1.6% 

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Sears ends deal with maternity retailer

BY CSA STAFF

PHILADELPHIA Sears and Mothers Work, the world’s leading maternity apparel retailer, will not be renewing their agreement, Mothers Work announced today. Under their current agreement, Mothers Works operates the maternity apparel department in 502 Sears stores through the sale of its Two Hearts Maternity branded merchandise.

Mothers Work said it expects its partnership with Sears to end on June 20, 2008, when it current deal with the company is expected to expire.

Rebecca Matthias, president and ceo of Mothers Work, noted, “While we are disappointed about the end of our relationship with Sears, we feel the decision not to proceed with a renewal is in the best interest of our stockholders since we were unable to reach terms on a renewal which would be favorable for Mothers Work and our stockholders. “

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