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Holt Renfrew Optimizes Store Experience

BY CSA STAFF

Holt Renfrew & Co. Ltd., is analyzing customer data to uphold its personalized in-store service.

The Toronto-based department store chain has built its reputation on delivering luxury designer merchandise, as well as innovative customer services such as a concierge service and personal shopping, in each store. Hoping to add an even more personal touch at store level, Holt Renfrew is using SAS Customer Intelligence software from SAS, Cary, N.C.

By leveraging the tool’s SAS Data Integration, SAS Enterprise Miner and SAS Marketing Automation software, Holt Renfrew can optimize relevant information and deliver more value to customers on a regular basis. The solution’s analytical insight will also improve Holt Renfrew’s ability to measure and refine communication efforts.

“Providing consistent customer service is at the core of everything we do,” Caryn Lerner, president and CEO, Holt Renfrew. “The analytical software will help us to better understand our customers and will provide us with the tools to take our customer service strategy to new heights.”

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Lampert, the Eli Manning of retail?

BY CSA STAFF

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. The New York Giants triumph over the highly favored New England Patriots in the Super Bowl earlier this month, has become an example of coming from the bottom to win it all. Sears Holdings chairman Edward Lampert is one of the latest to use the Giants win, even going as far to compare himself, and the leaders of his company, to quarterback Eli Manning.

The Giants analogy, and Eli Manning comparison, is applied mainly to the company’s Kmart division. In a letter to investors, posted on the Sears Holdings investor relations Web site, Lampert said during Kmart’s bankruptcy in 2002, the unit was “like an undrafted free agent who nobody thought had a chance to play in the big leagues.” Lampert went on to say, “Like Eli Manning, we know what it’s like to be underestimated and questioned, but we intend to keep working on our game to achieve our full potential.”

Sears Holdings reported net income of $426 million, or $3.17 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter ended Feb. 2, compared with net income of $811 million, or $5.27 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter ended Feb. 3, 2007. For the fiscal year ended Feb. 2, 2008, net income was $826 million, or $5.70 per diluted share compared with net income of $1.5 billion, or $9.58 per diluted share, for the fiscal year ended Feb. 3, 2007.

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Circuit City investor seeks to replace board

BY CSA STAFF

RICHMOND, Va. Circuit City Stores today acknowledged that it has received two proposals from shareholder Wattles Capital Management regarding its board of directors. Wattles holds approximately 6.5% of the outstanding shares of the company’s common stock.

Circuit City reported that Wattles proposed the idea of replacing the company’s Circuit City 12-member board of directors with its own nominees. Circuit City said its board of directors will review carefully the shareholder’s proposals and the qualifications of the nominees in accordance with its fiduciary duties, mindful that the proposal would give the shareholder absolute control of the entire board, which would be disproportionate to its relative ownership of the company’s shares.

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