FINANCE

Francesca’s ups Q4 guidance on holiday performance

BY Dan Berthiaume

Houston – Francesca’s Holding Corporation expects sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 to be between $93 million and $95 million, including a mid-to-low-single-digit decrease in same-store sales. This compares to previous guidance provided on Dec. 5, 2013 of sales between $90 million and $95 million, including a decrease of 8% to 3% in same-store sales.

Neil P. Davis, CEO of Francesca’s cited strong holiday performance for the increase in guidance.

"After a lackluster start to the holiday selling season beginning the week of Thanksgiving, we ended the season stronger,” said Davis. “Our customers responded well to our offerings, particularly apparel, accessories, and gifts. In addition, we remained diligent during the quarter aligning our inventory levels to our year-end objectives. As a result, we expect inventory, on an average boutique basis, to be flat to the comparable prior year period. Overall, we believe that our differentiated business model, combined with our retail growth strategy and execution of our operational initiatives, will continue to drive improvements in long-term shareholder value."

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News

Publix expands Teradata Active Data Warehouse implementation

BY Dan Berthiaume

Lakeland, Fla. — Publix Super Markets Inc. has expanded its Teradata Active Enterprise Data Warehouse to accommodate growth and more complex analytics. The upgrade moves the data warehouse functionality beyond traditional strategic analysis and into tactical operational intelligence.

The expansion includes the latest Teradata Active Enterprise Data Warehouse platform, database software, and services. The new platform is designed to enable quicker reaction and response to changing business conditions and consumer behavior.

“We chose Teradata because of their consistent performance and reliability. This upgrade of our Teradata environment will allow us to expand our Enterprise Data Warehouse solution which provides valuable data analytics,” said Laurie Douglas, Publix CIO. “Teradata’s experience, focus on retail solutions and leading-edge technology provide us with the insights we need to extend our success in this competitive market.”

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OPERATIONS

Report: Consumers creeped out by POS prompts

BY Dan Berthiaume

Dallas – A majority of consumers find point-of-sale (POS) prompts, such as discount alerts on their mobile devices an invasion of their privacy. According to a recent website poll from CompuCom, respondents were asked, “Do you find point-of-sale technology prompts, such as a customized alert for discounts upon entering a store”: 63% said it is Big Brother-ish/intrusive while 37% said it is helpful and cool.

The poll collected 307 responses from IT professionals across multiple industries from Nov. 16, 2013 through Dec. 17, 2013.

“Consumers need to remember that they are in control when it comes to POS technology and that it can be a benefit, not a nuisance, if they know how to use it and decide to what extent they’ll ‘let it in,’” said John Little, VP and general manager of retail sales, service sales management, CompuCom. “For retailers, there are smart ways to take advantage of the technology, by striking a balance and not overburdening consumers, respecting their preferences and letting them opt in to alerts. As security issues around POS are addressed, retailers and consumers will continue to adopt the technology in greater numbers and with greater levels of comfort.”

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