News

Helzberg Diamonds selects Information Builder’s BI platform

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Information Builders, a provider of business intelligence solutions, announced that Helzberg Diamonds has standardized on the WebFocus BI platform to provide advanced analysis and reporting capabilities to managers at 230 stores across the United States.

The fine jewelry retailer implemented the BI platform to analyze point-of-sale and other operational data, respond more quickly to market trends, and boost productivity in nearly every facet of its business. Insight from its new BI environment helps Helzberg provide additional value to customers and partners, while also increasing the size of its average sale.

"We’re using our new BI system to analyze data from our network of stores, evaluate the marketplace, detect buying trends, and track promotional effectiveness," said Greg Backhus, director of data warehousing and BI for Helzberg Diamonds, North Kansas City, Mo. "By quickly responding to trends in our customers’ behavior, we can more readily understand which products they want and the type of service they need. WebFocus makes us more nimble and efficient, so we adapt more quickly than the competition."

Helzberg selected Information Builders’ BI software because of its support for interactive dashboards and its report distribution capabilities. The solution offers tremendous ease of use and extensive connectivity to a broad set of databases and applications including Microsoft SQL Server, JD Edwards Financials, Hyperion Essbase, and Netezza. The platform has enabled Helzberg to create dashboards, scorecards, and an automated environment that streamlines the delivery of numerous daily reports to management covering a variety of functions, including net sales, merchandise reports, and point-of-sale analytics.

Helzberg also used WebFocus to enhance its merchandising capabilities with new reporting and metrics, placing more flexibility and control into the hands of store managers. The platform allows key employees to examine product category sales and indentify trends in promotions and other store-specific information, such as individual associate performance, credit sales, and extended care plan usage.

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OPERATIONS

Survey: More than one-third of consumers not happy with return policies

BY CSA STAFF

San Francisco — More than one-third of customers who returned gifts they received this past holiday season were not satisfied with their return experiences, according to a new study released by MarketTools, which provides software and services for market research and enterprise feedback management.

The study found that of those not satisfied with the return process, 32% cited the retailer’s return policy as the main source of angst, 23% were unhappy with the form of refund the retailer provided, and 22% were dissatisfied with long lines.

“The return process is a critical element of the retail experience, and retailers should use this opportunity to gather feedback from their customers to improve the overall customer experience,” said Justin Schuster, VP of enterprise products at MarketTools.

The returned gifts fell into the following categories: clothing & shoes (62%); toys, games & hobbies (16%); consumer electronics (14%); and kitchen & bath (13%). Beauty & cosmetics and jewelry & watches tied with 10% each.

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REAL ESTATE

Consolo and Aquino awarded top honors by Prudential

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — For the fifth consecutive year, Faith Hope Consolo, chairman of Prudential Douglas Elliman’s Retail Group, along with longtime partner Joseph Aquino, executive VP, was awarded Prudential Real Estate Affiliates’ "Top Retail and Commercial Agent — Highest GCI" for her group’s tremendous deal volume in 2010. The two joined the firm in 2005.

Additionally, they have been inducted into the Chairman’s Circle, and honored with the coveted Diamond Award, given to the top 1% of sales professionals in the Prudential global network.

The Retail Group provides comprehensive retail leasing, sales and consulting expertise to an array of tenants and landlords, locally, nationally and internationally.

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