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B&Q deploys SAP’s forecasting and replenishment application

BY Marianne Wilson

Eastleigh, United Kingdom — SAP AG announced that British multinational home-improvement retailing company B&Q has gone live with the SAP Forecasting and Replenishment application. The deployment is part of the chain’s "Project Clover" business transformation program.

With the implementation of the SAP solution, B&Q expects to see significant savings across stock reduction, increased profit from better product availability and cost savings in logistics through better forecasting and planning. As manual processes are replaced with automated processes, the company also expects to see increased efficiency in its supply chain. Stock quantities and phasing will match each individual stores’ sales patterns and the platform will allow collaborative relationships and planning with suppliers throughout the supply chain.

“Stock availability is at the heart of everything B&Q does, so we need to have the most efficient processes in place to remain at the top of our game and continue to delight our customers everyday,” said Suren Sornalingam, project executive, B&Q. “Project Clover was so much more than a technical implementation – it was a fundamental change in our business journey. We had to ensure everything was planned appropriately and effectively rolled out to our workforce of 32,000.”

B&Q has been replenishing stock across its 357 stores for over 10 years with material requirements planning software from SAP. An increased level of manual processes and a need for improved forecasting capability were the key driving forces behind B&Q’s choice to upgrade its system.

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Sycamore Partners raises offer for Talbots

BY Marianne Wilson

Hingman, Mass. — The Talbots Inc. said it has received a raised takeover offer of $214.6 million from private equity firm Sycamore Partners. The company also said it entered an exclusivity agreement with Sycamore, which will end on May 15.

Talbots said Sycamore had offered to pay $3.05 per share — slightly higher than the $3.00 per share offer it made in December.

The board of retailer said it continues to evaluate strategic alternative.

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ShopperTrak: April 2012

BY CSA STAFF

Total U.S. shopper traffic in retail stores and malls for April 2012

Warm weather and shifting holidays in March caused retail foot traffic to dip in April. Retail foot traffic in April was 7.6% lower from March, and 2.7% lower on a year-over-year basis. The slow April is the first in the past 3 months to experience a decline in year-over-year and month-over-month retail foot traffic.

April 2012 didn’t receive the kind of boost in retail foot traffic that April 2011 did from Easter. The holiday fell late in the month and preceded Mother’s Day by only two weeks. The late Easter and early Mother’s Day created a window of shopping time that consolidated the bulk of shopping for both holidays into April 2011.

Also, because March’s weather was so unseasonably warm, many shoppers took to the streets and bought their spring wears before April arrived. This meant that although April too experienced above-average temperatures, most consumers had already spent their shopping dollars.

Many retailers should anticipate increased traffic in May leading up to Mother’s Day. ShopperTrak predicts that national retail sales, when compared to the same period last year, will rise 6% in the week leading up to Mother’s Day, and retail foot traffic will increase 3.7%.


ShopperTrak’s data and analyses in this article is based on counting billions of shoppers in more than 45,000 locations across 74 countries. ShopperTrak is a leading retail technology company that anonymously counts people, analyzes data and identifies opportunities to increase revenue for retailers, mall developers and entertainment venues. Find out more at
http://www.shoppertrak.com.

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