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Destination XL Group announces expanded credit facility

BY Marianne Wilson

Canton, Mass. Big & tall men's apparel retailer Destination XL Group announced that it has increased its existing asset-based revolving line of credit with Bank of America, N.A. by $25 million to $125 million.

In addition, the company entered into a new agreement with Wells Fargo Capital Finance for a $15 million five-year senior secured second lien term loan.

"These new financing agreements provide us with additional liquidity and financial flexibility as we execute our plan to complete the conversion to Destination XL by the end of fiscal 2017," said president and CEO David Levin. "This was an opportune time to increase our borrowing capacity on favorable terms."

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Tuesday Morning turning things around

BY CSA STAFF

Off price retailer Tuesday Morning enjoyed an 11.3% surge in its first quarter same store sales as it benefitted from the introduction of new and expanded merchandise categories.

The operator of nearly 800 stores said sales for the quarter ended Sept. 30 increased 10.1% to $202.2 million with the 11.3% comp increase driven almost entirely by increased customer traffic. The company still lost money during the period, but much less than the prior year. A net loss of $6.2 million, or 14 cents a share, was roughly half the prior year net loss of $12 million, or 28 cents a share.

"During the first quarter, we successfully completed the turnaround phase of our program to transform Tuesday Morning,” said CEO Michael Rouleau. “This encompassed the exit of non-core categories, the introduction of new and expanded categories, comprehensive improvements in store conditions and operations, redirection of our real estate program, and the streamlining of our supply chain. Looking ahead, we currently expect to build on this momentum and deliver a successful fall and holiday season."

Tuesday Morning’s value proposition is selling deeply discounted, upscale decorative home accessories, housewares, seasonal goods and famous-maker gifts.

In the prior fiscal year, the company said it executed a number of critical programs under its business turnaround initiative. These programs included changes in senior management and board composition, exiting certain categories, cleaning up and relaying all stores, structurally reducing the level of clearance merchandise, enhancing company policies, and eliminating obsolete assets.

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Kohl’s optimizes item and store performance with Oracle Retail solution

BY Marianne Wilson

Redwood Shores, Calif. —Kohl’s has overhauled its core merchandising, inventory, and pricing operations with the launch of a new Oracle Retail Merchandise Operations Management solution, allowing the retailer to coordinate a unified system of record for inventory to better serve multi-channel customers and to simplify its business user experience.

“Oracle Retail has provided our merchants with more visibility to make informed decisions with better data to optimize performance at the item and store level,” said Janet Schalk, executive VP and CIO, Kohl’s. “Equally important, the Oracle Retail implementation establishes a foundation for future growth and innovation.”

As part of the overhaul, Kohl’s implemented the Oracle Retail Merchandising system and Oracle Retail Price Management to streamline and improve inventory, pricing, and promotions operations that determine how well larger categories and individual items perform both online and at each of Kohl’s more than 1,100 stores nationwide. The implementaion follows Kohl’s deployment of Oracle Commerce.

The Oracle Retail implementation is part of a larger business transformation designed to support the department store company’s ongoing growth and enable marketing and merchandising teams to anticipate customer demand, identify market opportunities, and roll out new products and promotions online and in stores. By managing pricing and promotions from a unified view that delivers accurate, real-time insight from multiple sources, the merchants will gain efficiencies with a more agile promotional pricing process.

Kohl’s is using Oracle Retail to manage pricing for all items on a store-by-store basis and for its e-commerce site, to preserve margins where demand remains high and for clearing and refreshing inventory where needed.

To deliver a real-time view of the many variables influencing item and store performance, Kohl’s has integrated Oracle Retail Merchandising with multiple existing systems.

By leveraging the best practices built into the Oracle Retail refernce model, which is a comprehensive collection of industry-leading processes that guide retail operations, Kohl’s avoided customizations, simplified its merchandising overhaul, and allowed for faster upgrades in the future.

In addition, Kohl’s implemented the Oracle Exadata Database Machine to optimize performance of its retail operations and ensure that merchants have rapid access to the information they need.

The merchandising transformation at Kohl’s represents a key step in the retailer’s long-term strategy: establishing a robust, stable, and scalable foundation for deploying new retail science, optimization, and planning solutions that will help to identify market opportunities and drive profitable growth.

“Consumers require access to their favorite brands 24/7 via nearby stores, their desktop, or using a mobile device, and Kohl’s is moving quickly to deliver that type of personalized and relevant commerce-anywhere experience. By implementing the Oracle Retail family of applications, Kohl’s is establishing a foundation to drive ongoing growth,” said Mike Webster, senior VP and general manager, Oracle Retail.

Moving forward, Kohl’s plans to implement and use the predictive technology embedded in Oracle Retail Merchandise Planning and Optimization to more precisely tailor its selection of items, styles, and sizes to meet customer demand at each store.

The Oracle Retail solutions represent an expansion of Oracle applications already in use at Kohl’s, which include Oracle Commerce, Oracle’s PeopleSoft financial management systems and more.

In 2013, Kohl’s moved its e-commerce operations to Oracle Commerce to deliver nearly 100% availability and support record high sales during the annual shopping spikes that accompany the holidays.

To provide differentiated customer service, Kohl’s also deployed Oracle Service Cloud for web customer service, contact center, and knowledge management. The deployment enables Kohl’s to reduce costs while delivering a compelling customer experience through voice, e-mail, chat, and cobrowsing capabilities that support millions of web interactions per month and more than 2,000 contact center agents.

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