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Groupe Yellow deploys Epicor Retail SaaS solution

BY Dan Berthiaume

Montreal — Canadian footwear retailer Groupe Yellow has selected the Epicor Retail Software as a Service (SaaS) solution to support the organization’s retail operations. Yellow has also signed on as the first SaaS customer to deploy Epicor Retail Sourcing and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) as a hosted solution.

To support its operations, Yellow sought an SaaS offering that would enable swift implementation and plug-and-play functionality. The company selected the Epicor Retail SaaS solution, based on the company’s suite of specialty retail solutions, to leverage the Epicor store, CRM, merchandising, warehouse management, audit & operations management, and business intelligence functionality on demand.

In addition, the company will deploy Epicor Retail Sourcing and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) as a hosted solution. Sourcing and PLM streamlines sourcing processes, providing tools for increased visibility and productivity, and more efficient supply chain management.

The Epicor Retail Store solution will support more streamlined POS transactions for an improved customer checkout experience, while the Epicor Retail CRM will allow the organization to collect and track customer data to better understand patrons’ buying habits. Epicor Retail Merchandising will give Yellow advanced tools to analyze ordering, pricing, distribution, and the overall management of merchandise; and synchronize and integrate purchasing, pricing, receiving, allocation, replenishment, and inventory management.

Epicor Retail Warehouse Management will enable Yellow to achieve seamless communication with stores on the flow of merchandise from receiving through distribution to store shelves. Epicor Retail Audit and Operations Management will allow Yellow to consolidate, validate and secure data from all sales channels into one location and one standard format. Epicor Retail Business Intelligence will assist Yellow in the aggregation and analysis of a wide variety of data from sales audit, merchandising, and CRM solutions, to reveal key insights and emerging trends for more rapid and accurate decision making.

“The Epicor Retail SaaS solution offers significant benefits as it removes the need for costly integration among modules, which is time and cost prohibitive,” said Leo Rabinovitch, CIO for Yellow. “With Epicor Retail, Yellow will have a solid foundation for a seamless flow of information between all aspects of the business. We will be able to make decisions and execute more quickly, buy and distribute more effectively, provide first-class customer service, and build a sustainable competitive advantage against our competition. If we can drive increased conversion of 1 to 2%, this would equate to a tremendous payback.”

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Weak retail climate dims LeapFrog’s holiday view

BY CSA STAFF

LeapFrog Enterprises is rolling into the holiday with its strongest product lineup ever but concerns about consumer spending have the leading educational entertainment company tempering its view of fourth quarter sales.

LeapFrog just reported sales for the third quarter ended September 30, that increased 4% to $201 million due to shipments of products such as LeapPad Ultra, LeapPad2 Power, LeapPad 2 holiday bundles and LeapReader. However, much of the company’s growth was driven by international sales which increased 14% to $54.2 million including a 3% negative impact from currency exchange rates.

Domestically, sales were up 1% to $146.8 million. Profits on an adjusted basis to account for non-recurring expenses increased 19% to $26.8 million, or 38 cents a share, from $22.5 million, or 32 cents a share, the prior year.

“Despite a tough retail climate in most of the markets in which we operate, the LeapFrog team delivered another solid quarterly financial performance,” CEO John Barbour said of the company’s performance. “We head into the all-important holiday season with the best product offering we have ever had. We have hundreds of new pieces of life-changing educational entertainment content, an expanded learning tablet line with LeapPad Ultra, LeapPad2 Power, LeapPad2 and our LeapPad exclusive holiday bundles, a new learn-to-read-and-write line with LeapReader and new learning toys such as Read With Me Scout & Violet.”

As is often the case, LeapFrog brands products tend to be featured on most of the top toy lists retailers generate for the holiday and the company continues to win accolades from consumer and independent experts.

“We are well-positioned for the holidays with improved in-stocks, stronger retail promotions and greater marketing investment during the highest-volume shopping weeks. At the same time, we see a weak retail climate and growing concern surrounding this holiday season, especially in the U.S.,” Barbour said.

LeapFrog CFO Ray Athur echoed the concerns of his boss.

“While our financial performance to date has met our expectations, we are concerned about the fourth quarter given economic headwinds and a weak retail environment,” Arthur said. “Additionally, the holiday season will be more challenged and trend later in the U.S. this year compared to last year with six fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and two fewer weekend shopping days.”

Those concerns caused the company to adjust its full year outlook with sales now projected to range from $570 million to $590 million, which could leave the company with either a 2% increase or decrease compared to last year’s sales of $581 million. Earnings per share are forecast to range from 36 cents to 46 cents, below last year’s profit of 56 cents a share.

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Dick’s to power ESPN’s online shop

BY CSA STAFF

Dick’s Sporting Goods and ESPN have entered into a multi-year agreement which will allow Dick’s to be the exclusive e-commerce provider of licensed merchandise and sporting goods on ESPN.com and related digital properties.

Dick’s and ESPN are no strangers. The sporting goods retailer sponsors ESPN’s Champ Week coverage for college basketball, and collaborates on content such as Hell Week — an original documentary produced by Dick’s Sporting Goods Films in association with ESPN, which aired on ESPN2 and ESPNU earlier this year.

As a result of the new agreement, fans will now be able to shop an expanded range of licensed products available at the rebranded ESPN Fan Shop powered by Dick’s Sporting Goods. Contextually integrated shopping opportunities will be featured across ESPN platforms in the near future — including ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Radio and mobile properties such as ScoreCenter, GameCast and WatchESPN — allowing fans to easily purchase officially licensed products from their favorite MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, NCAA, EPL, MLS teams while following their favorite athlete or team. In addition to licensed apparel, the site will carry an expanded assortment of ESPN merchandise, including the award-winning 30 for 30 documentary series.

"This groundbreaking collaboration with ESPN blends sports content and commerce, solidifying DICK’s as the premier destination for licensed product," said Lauren Hobart, SVP and CMO. “Dick’s is excited about this dynamic multi-channel approach, which includes traditional and non-traditional marketing and e-commerce, to better serve the needs of athletes and fans everywhere."

"ESPN and Dick’s Sporting Goods share similar goals, most notably, serving sports fans and athletes,” added ESPN’s Sean Bratches, EVP of sales and marketing. “This new online store builds on a long history between the two companies and will allow both to better serve this audience with a unique shopping experience."

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