News

Attune, SAP partner on SAP Fashion Management

BY Dan Berthiaume

Burlington, Mass. — Attune Consulting, a global solutions provider to the fashion and lifestyle industries, today has collaborated with SAP to co-develop the SAP Fashion Management application. SAP Fashion Management is a vertical wholesale, manufacturing, and retail solution designed to bring all business operations onto a single platform powered by SAP Hana to create cross-channel, integrated fashion companies.

Attune’s first customer implementation of SAP Fashion Management will begin in July with Tommy Hilfiger Europe.

Attune’s continued role in co-developing the solution includes collaborating with SAP on the solution design, product development, and delivery of proof of concept, providing feedback and guidance throughout product testing cycles and preparing customer training materials, and developing a data migration tool for existing SAP apparel and footwear customers to seamlessly transition to the new solution.

"Attune is privileged to be selected as a co-innovation partner with SAP, as we share a common goal of bringing best practices back into the fashion industry," said Vajira De Silva, CEO of Attune. "With SAP Fashion Management, fashion brands will be able to optimize their wholesale, manufacturing, and retail operations for the omni-channel and create more adaptable global businesses, while increasing revenues, margins, and efficiencies."

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OPERATIONS

Endicia releases return shipping solution

BY Dan Berthiaume

Palo Alto, Calif. — Endicia, a provider of e-commerce shipping technologies and services, has released a solution called "Pay-on-Use Returns" exclusively for the United States Postal Service (USPS). Unlike traditional USPS labels, Endicia’s Pay-on-Use Returns shipping labels are not pre-paid.

Postage is only deducted if and when a return label is scanned into the mail stream. Endicia’s Pay-on-Use Returns service joins the existing suite of Endicia Returns solutions, which includes pre-paid USPS return labels and the recently released cross-border Canada Returns. The extended returns’ capability increases the functionality of Endicia’s shipping technology platform, enabling Endicia customers to manage end-to-end shipping labels for domestic and international destinations.

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News

Ulta Beauty looks good as weather no worry

BY CSA STAFF

With an 8.7% same store sales increase, the addition of 21 new stores, a burgeoning digital business and surging first quarter profits, Ulta Beauty demonstrated why it is one of the retail industry’s most compelling growth stories.

First quarter sales for the period ended May 3 increased 22.5% to $713.8 million thanks to the addition of 120 new stores since the end of the first quarter of 2013. The company also produced an 8.7 same store sales increase that came on top of a prior year increase of 6.7%. Profits increased 19.4% to $50 million and earnings per share grew 18.5% to 65 cents. The biggest surge came in the e-commerce area where comparable sales grew 72.3%, a figure distorted by growth coming of a small base the prior year.

“Ulta Beauty delivered strong sales and earnings growth in the first quarter,” said Ulta CEO Mary Dillon. “The team’s accomplishments included improving retail transactions which turned positive, driving continued momentum in our online business, successfully rolling out new brands, completing a smooth conversion of our loyalty program members onto one platform, and managing inventory very well.”

While the overall numbers were solid, Ulta did report that gross margins contracted to 34.5% of sales from 35% and the operating margin also contracted to 11.3% of sales from 11.6%. It also forecast second quarter same store sales may increase only 5% to 7% after advancing 8.4% the prior year.

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