STORE SPACES

The Container Store selects signage solution from Episys

BY Marianne Wilson

Chicago — The Container Store has selected the Retail Enterprise Suite signage solution from Episys to produce high-quality signage and boost promotional effectiveness and customer service across its stores nationwide.

“We have always believed that our in-store product signage serves as a silent salesperson for our customers when they’re not working directly with one of our experts,” said Peggy Doughty, VP visual merchandising, The Container Store. “It is a huge focus and time commitment to ensure our signage is where it needs to be, when it needs to be.”

The Episys system will allow the chain to maintain the quality of signage it demands while also saving its employees significant time by integrating the entire production process – from request to formatting to printing, Doughty explained.

“The ability to batch process will also allow us even better quality controls and we love that the solution offers future enhancements as the needs of our business evolves with growth,” she said.

Derek Buchanan, CEO at Episys said: “We are pleased to have a solution that will enhance The Container Store’s commitment to delivering a high level of customer service through store signage. This will also result in a significant time savings for The Container Store and will allow them to ship signage to their stores the way they want to.”

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News

Woolworths South Africa selects RedPrairie’s workforce management solution

BY Staff Writer

Johannesburg, South Africa — RedPrairie Corp., a global supply chain and retail technology provider with a local office in Johannesburg, has been selected by Woolworths South Africa to provide a workforce management solution (WFM) to help improve the in-store customer experience.

RedPrairie’s WFM solution leverages engineered standards and demand-based forecasts to optimize scheduling, task assignment, and performance measurement as well as compute and pay incentives.

Woolworths is planning to use RedPrairie’s workforce management solution to leverage point of sale data to generate accurate forecasting and to improve compliance with optimized schedules. The solution will give managers visibility of key performance indicators and tools to manage performance, ensuring that the right people are available in the right place at the right time.

“We are constantly improving our information technology to enhance customer service and productivity. The implementation of RedPrairie’s workforce management system will play a big part in that process,” said Adrian Gebers, head of IT business applications, Woolworths South Africa, which operates more than 400 stores.

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FINANCE

China tops list of best developing markets for e-commerce growth

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Large emerging markets with an active online user base and solid infrastructure offer retailers the greatest e-commerce potential in the near-term, according to a new study by A.T. Kearney’s Global Consumer Institute. The study ranks the 10 countries with the greatest potential for e-commerce growth, and China tops the list, followed by Brazil (#2), Russia (#3), Chile (#4) and Mexico (#5).

“Online retail in developing markets presents retailers with attractive growth prospects, either by adding e-commerce to already existing store networks or as a market-entry vehicle. Entry via the online channel allows retailers to build their brands and learn about consumers without having to invest in store openings,” said Hana Ben-Shabat, A.T. Kearney partner and co-leader of the 2012 Retail e-Commerce Index.

China’s current online retail market size of $23 billion is second only to the United States and is predicted to explode over the next five years, growing at a rate of 29% annually a year as Chinese infrastructure and online purchasing behaviors evolve, according to the study. While many retail sectors are popular among Chinese online shoppers, consumer electronics and apparel are the two largest categories.

Number two on the index is Brazil, whose active online user base commands US$ 10.6 billion in online retail sales, the largest in Latin America. Brazil’s online market is predicted to expand by 12% annually over the next five years as online shopping becomes more mainstream across most retail categories.

Appliances and consumer electronics are the products most commonly sold online in Brazil. Online apparel sales are marginal, as the fashion-savvy Brazilian consumer values the social experience that comes with in-store shopping.

The index examines the top 30 countries in the 2012 A.T. Kearney Global Retail Development Index, and ranks the top 10 based on the retail e-commerce potential. Read the full 2012 A.T. Kearney Retail e-Commerce Report.

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