OPERATIONS

Forever 21 selects Kronos for workforce management solution

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Chelmsford, Mass. — Forever 21 has tapped workforce management solution-provider Kronos Inc. for a global solution to address multinational needs and standardize the specialty retailer’s brand experience delivery across the world.

According to Kronos, Forever 21 will use its time and attendance and forecasting and scheduling solutions across 500 stores in Austria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Spain, UK, and the U.S. The retailer is rapidly expanding, and more than 40,000 Forever 21 retail associates around the world will use Kronos.

Kronos will help Forever 21 minimize compliance risk by managing the complexities related to variations in work and pay rules, languages, and currencies. With one solution for all of its workforce management needs, Kronos will offer Forever 21 a comprehensive view of labor costs on a global basis.

As well, the Kronos forecasting and scheduling solution will ensure optimal labor coverage across all store locations, enabling Forever 21 to predict labor needs and control staffing demands. This will help reduce over- and under-staffing as well as minimize overtime costs.

“When looking for a vendor that could meet our needs, it was obvious that Kronos has developed a workforce management solution with multinational retailers in mind,” said Jay Cha, IT director, Forever 21.

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FINANCE

Michael Kors Q1 profit leaps 82%; plans new stores in India and Brazil

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York — Fashion presence Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. reported a first-quarter profit of $125 million, nearly double the $68.6 million profit of the year-ago period.

Revenue for the quarter ended June 29 soared 54% percent to $640.9 million, well above Wall Street’s expected $570.5 million. Same-store sales climbed 27.3%. In North America, which generates 86% of the company’s business, same-store sales rose 25%.

Despite the stronger-than-expected sales, Kors’ full-year sales forecast of $2.8 billion to $2.9 billion was in line with Wall Street’s projections for $2.84 billion.

Helping its overall results were the roll-out of shops within department stores and substantial gains in Europe. The company said it plans new stores in India and Brazil, as well as a bigger push for its watch and jewelry business worldwide. The company operates 249 of its own stores in North America and CEO John Idol said that could grow to 400. In Europe, Kors has 49 stores and thinks it can eventually have 200 locations. It also said it opened its first stores in Brazil and, with a partner, in India.

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SUPPLY CHAIN

Sears Holdings to improve omni-channel distribution operations

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Hoffman Estates, Ill. — Sears Holdings has selected HighJump Software, a global provider of supply chain management software, to help the company manage its distribution network.

The retailer will implement the HighJump Supply Chain Advantage warehouse management system as well as HighJump solutions for yard and labor management across its North American distribution network, which includes 41 distribution centers that cover more than 40 million sq. ft., 106 market delivery operation sites for cross docking appliances and integrated retail fulfillment from select stores for online purchases.

HighJump Software offers a market-leading adaptable, scalable technology platform. The HighJump adaptability tools enable customers to configure work flows in warehouse management systems with internal resources to meet rapidly changing marketplace demands, while maintaining the ability to perform fast, seamless upgrades.

“Our company is committed to building an agile, leading-edge supply chain,” said Jeff Starecheski, VP logistics services, Sears Holdings. “The HighJump solutions will allow us to expand our fulfillment capabilities while improving service to our customers and members.”

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