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French eyewear retailer selects Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 for Retail

BY Marianne Wilson

Issy-Les-Moulineaux, France — The Optic 2000 group, whch operates more than 1,850 specialty stores for eyewear and hearing devices, has chosen Microsoft Corp.’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 for Retail, to manage its sales, supply and inventory across its entire network of operations in France. Usability, simple maintenance, functional excellence and ease of upgrading are the key advantages that led to the company’s strategic decision to adopt the Microsoft business solution.

“The choice of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 for Retail is part of a comprehensive strategic vision for our company, which sees Microsoft as a key partner for stability, trust and innovation. Our objective is to streamline our resource management with this ERP solution, to deliver a real value proposition to our customers — through the advice and support we offer during the sales process and beyond, as well as by ensuring we are offering real value for the money,” said Didier Papaz, CEO, Optic 2000 group.

With more than 1,850 stores (cooperatives, franchises and outlets) whose tools were no longer simple and effective to use and which were not able respond to industry developments, Optic 2000 was looking to adopt a unified and easy-to-use solution that could be adapted to the needs of each outlet. After extensive research, the team abandoned the idea of an eyewear-specific ERP solution in order to benefit from the power and flexibility of Microsoft solutions. Over and above the stability, the performance, the ease of maintenance and the wealth of functionality, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 for Retail distinguished itself as an innovative and open ERP solution, ideal for developing new tools specific to the eyewear industry.

“We wanted a single solution that was easier to manage and that allowed us to optimize the quality of services provided by our IT department to our users,” said Patrick Seux, director of organization and IT of the Optic 2000 group. “By using Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 for Retail, we can regularly update the entire system, all the applications on all the workstations. We also wanted to manage, archive and share our data from each point of sale. The data will remain specific to each outlet, but their security features will be centralized. In addition, the Microsoft solution allows us to look to a future in which we will be able to confidently access data on the go from mobile devices and heterogeneous point-of-sale terminals, and this for a price lower than that of the solution currently in place.”

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Sam’s Club leads in customer loyalty rankings

BY CSA STAFF

WABAN, Mass. — Sam’s Club has the most loyal customers, according to a new study by Temkin Group. The report, "2012 Temkin Loyalty Ratings," rated the loyalty that consumers have to 206 large companies across 18 industries.

Only seven companies earned "very strong" loyalty ratings. In addition to the retailers listed above, credit unions and USAA earned the distinction. Sam’s Club had the most loyal customers across all industries, with a loyalty rating of 65%.

Supermarkets, retailers, and fast food chains are the top three industries, with an average loyalty rating of "strong." At the bottom of the ratings: TV and Internet service providers.

  • The survey examined three components of loyalty, including:

  • Likelihood of consumers to recommend companies;

  • Reluctance of consumers to switch business away from companies; and

  • Willingness to consumers to purchase additional products and services from companies.

Here’s how some of the top U.S. retailers ranked on this year’s survey:

  • Sam’s Club: 65%, which ranked No. 1 in customer loyalty,

  • Publix: 62%, which earned the No. 4 spot;

  • Amazon.com: 61%, which ranked No. 5;

  • H-E-B: 60%, which ranked No. 7;

  • Target: 59%, which ranked No. 8;

  • ShopRite and Hy-Vee both tied for the No. 12 spot with 58%;

  • Winn-Dixie and Kroger tied at No. 16 with 57%;

  • Walgreens: 56%, which ranked No. 21;

  • CVS, Costco and Giant Eagle ranked No. 22 at 55%; and

  • Whole Foods Market and BJ’s Wholesale Club both earned the No. 25 spot with 54%.

Click here to view the complete rankings.

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More Downsizing?

BY Jeff Green

It doesn’t really surprise me anymore when I hear about another national brand rolling out a smaller store format or compact new prototype. Recognizable names like Target, Walmart and Best Buy have all had some success with smaller formats, particularly when it comes to penetrating new markets. But I think the fact that Kohl’s has now joined the crowd is a little bit different — and a little bit more interesting.

Kohl’s CEO Kevin Mansell announced last May that the department store would be moving away from its customary 90,000-sq.-ft. to 100,000-sq.-ft. stores to layouts around 64,000 sq. ft. for most of their new locations. They’ve already followed through on that plan: Last month, Kohl’s announced the grand opening of eight new stores in seven different states; seven of those stores are this new smaller model.

The downsizing of Kohl’s is especially important and interesting for a couple of reasons: First, it represents a pretty big shift away from a formula that Kohl’s has clung to for quite some time. They have had the same basic prototype for at least 15 years and have been successful. Second, I see this as a fundamentally different situation than with brands like Walmart or Best Buy, who have used smaller layouts primarily as a way to be more flexible and break into new, more urban markets. While it’s true that Kohl’s first experimented with the new format as a way to get into smaller markets, they clearly saw something they liked. Now, they aren’t just opening smaller stores in smaller communities; they’re opening them in all types of markets.

The natural first question to a curious retail analyst like myself is always why? Kohl’s has maintained their success even through the toughest recent years, so there isn’t an obvious indication that they need less space. I think it’s actually more straightforward than that: according to Mansell, the smaller formats have simply been performing better.

The details of how to make a permanent structural shift like this are always interesting to me, as well. As of now, while they will be making renovations and updates, they won’t be downsizing any existing stores — but Kohl’s has obviously figured out a way to fit their merchandise into a smaller space. It’s a combination of more efficiently merchandising a store as well as perhaps cutting out lower performing categories. I wonder if Kohl’s will cut back somewhat on space hogs like home furnishings, which don’t deliver the same sales-per-square-foot punch as apparel? All retailers are focused on their four-wall value and maximizing their sales-per-square-foot, so I’m interested to see what happens.

So what could this mean for retail real estate and big box leasing? If this trend continues, I think we definitely might see some of the biggest boxes a little slower to rent, but for now I don’t foresee a dramatic impact. With these format changes, we may actually start to see some absorption: For every downsizing Best Buy, retailers like Kohl’s can now come in and take over that 65,000-sq.-ft. space.

What do you think? Are you surprised to see Kohl’s join the list of downsizing retailers? Why do you think they are moving toward a smaller format? What do you think about the smaller format? Please make a public comment below or feel free to e-mail me privately at [email protected].


Click here for past columns by Jeff Green.

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R.Toter says:
Feb-21-2013 07:17 am

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