OPERATIONS

IBM helps Asian retailer expand into 15 markets

BY Staff Writer

Armonk, N.Y. — Kids 21, a children’s upscale apparel retailer operated by luxury fashion group Club21, will use IBM’s cloud, e-commerce and analytics software to deliver personalized experience while expanding its online presence across Asia-Pacific. When it launches in the third quarter, the new online site will increase Kids 21’s reach from four to more than 15 countries in the region.

Delivered through the IBM SoftLayer cloud platform, the IBM WebSphere Commerce software will give Kids 21 a customer interaction platform for omni-channel commerce. In addition, Kids 21 will use IBM’s cloud-based Digital Analytics across its branded storefronts to understand real-time shopping trends and deliver personalized promotions based on the unique preferences of its customers. The company’s online operations will also benefit from improved scalability, speed and security with faster provisioning of cloud computing resources through IBM SoftLayer’s dedicated servers.

“We are delighted to be working with IBM and their business partner Cnetric to launch our Kids21 online presence in Asia. Our ambition is to carry forward the exceptional customer experience and fashion curation we offer to our discerning and fashion conscious customers into the online world. We will also use this initiative to drive Kids21 into new markets across Asia Pacific,” said E-Len Fu, director of Kids 21, which operates stores in Singapore, Malaysia, China (Hong Kong) and Thailand.

“We selected Cnetric and IBM WebSphere Commerce due to their combined extensive experience in online retail and the rich capabilities in the software to help personalize the customer experience. We also chose the cloud-based offering to reduce overall cost and improve speed to market which is very important to our growth plans,” she added.

Kids 21 teamed up with IBM and IBM Business Partner Cnetric in a Commerce-as-a-Service deployment to further strengthen their position as both a fashion-forward retailer and future-ready enterprise. The combination of cloud, e-commerce and business analytics technologies will strengthen Kids 21’s customer service and brand loyalty.

According to a study done by the IBM Center for Applied Insights, the use of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) not only helps save costs but also provides a significant competitive advantage by improving the customer experience. Kids 21 can now provide a superior shopping experience, improve time to market and reduce costs without the large upfront investments required to build a new digital platform or physical storefront in each market.

“By integrating its e-commerce roadmap with analytics and cloud, Kids 21 is well-prepared to take the lead in the retail industry of the future, deepen engagement with customers and secure greater brand loyalty and advocacy,” said Elsie Tan, country manager, Software Group, IBM Singapore. “With Smarter Commerce, retailers can transform their business processes to more quickly respond to shifting customer demands in the digitally-transformed marketplace.”

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OPERATIONS

Walmart names president of health and wellness

BY Staff Writer

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Bentonville, Ark. — Walmart named Labeed Diab senior VP and president health and wellness, filling a position previously held by Dr. John Agwunobi, who has left the company.

Diab previous served as senior VP pharmacy operations for Walmart’s Midwest division, and was based in Chicago. He joined the company in 2009 as a director of operations.

Diab began his career as a pharmacy manager with American Stores, and also served in regional and divisional operations roles with CVS Caremark and Rite Aid.

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P.Siegel says:
Apr-04-2014 01:03 pm

Interesting that Walmart concentrates all their efforts in all areas of their business, except one - CUSTOMER SERVICE & SATISFACTION. THIERS IS THE WORST IN RETAILING a record where they seem to enjoy the position.

P.Siegel says:
Apr-04-2014 01:03 pm

Interesting that Walmart concentrates all their efforts in all areas of their business, except one - CUSTOMER SERVICE & SATISFACTION. THIERS IS THE WORST IN RETAILING a record where they seem to enjoy the position.

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Office Depot names former Toys ‘R’ Us exec as executive VP of retail

BY Marianne Wilson

Boca Raton, Fla. — Office Depot has appointed Troy Rice as executive VP of retail, effective April 14. Rice, who replaces Juan Guerrero, will also serve as a member of Office Depot’s leadership team and report directly to chairman and CEO Roland Smith.

Rice most recently served for eight years as executive VP-stores and services at Toys “R” Us, during which he was responsible for all aspects of store operations for Toys "R” Us and Babies “R” Us, as well as operations for FAO Schwarz and seasonal stores. Previously, he spent 16 years in positions of increasing responsibility at The Home Depot, culminating in the role of division president, Northern Division.

“Troy is an accomplished executive who has focused his career on improving operational performance and the customer experience in multi-unit retail stores,” said Office Depot CEO Smith. “His 20 plus years of experience in retail operations and his omni-channel orientation will enable him to make immediate and significant contributions to a number of Office Depot’s 2014 critical priorities.”

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