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Men’s Wearhouse brings acquired company’s warehouse up to speed

BY Dan Berthiaume

Retail acquisitions are never easy, and generally involve significant systems and process overhauls.

The June 2014 purchase of Jos. A. Bank by The Men’s Wearhouse is no exception, as evidenced by its recent upgrade of Jos. A. Bank’s warehouse management.

The Men’s Wearhouse has implemented a next-generation warehouse management system (WMS) and distributed order management system (DOM) from Manhattan Associates in Jos. A. Bank three distribution centers. Working with supply chain services and technology outsourcer Keystone Logic, Men’s Wearhouse will leverage the new solutions to modernize Jos. A. Bank’s distribution processes and significantly increase per-day order shipping capabilities.

Following the acquisition, the combined entity needed to transform its supply chain program, including upgrading warehouse management and other master data systems. One benefit was the ability to use the distribution centers of both companies; optimizing inventory fulfillment. New systems were rolled out in time to get ready for the 2015 peak fulfillment season.

“I have never seen such a large implementation go as quickly and as smoothly as what we saw with the WMS rollout at Jos. A. Bank,” said Uma Bhemisetty, VP of retail systems at Men’s Wearhouse. Given the newness of the combined organization and the complexity of the underlying business processes, this was a significant achievement.”

See more coverage of warehouse and distribution management at The Men’s Wearhouse here.

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Lower gas prices not helping retailers

BY CSA STAFF

Lower gas prices are not significantly altering consumer behavior, according to the latest Consumer Fuels Survey results released by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS).

Although drivers report that the national median gas price fell 25 cents per gallon in the past month and 60 cents per gallon since July, only 22% of consumers say that they will drive more over the coming month and only 15% say that they will spend more on other non-fuels items in the coming month.

“Consumers are wary about the economy and even declining gas prices don’t overcome concerns about the wild swings in the stock market,” said NACS Vice President of Strategic Industry Initiatives Jeff Lenard. “The survey results show that many Americans do not think lower gas prices have delivered meaningful economic relief to their families.”

Declining gas prices also have not yet increased consumer optimism about the economy. Less than half of all consumers (48%) are optimistic about the economy, a one-point drop from the previous month.

Consumers ages 18 to 34 are the most optimistic about the economy and most likely to translate that optimism into spending. A majority of these younger consumers (57%) are optimistic, and more than one in three (37%) intend to drive more over the coming month. Nearly one in four (23%) say that they will spend more money shopping this month.

Consumers also expect gas prices to continue their slide. More than one in four (28%) say that they expect gas prices to fall this month, the highest percentage expecting further price drops since January 2015.

Nearly 9 in 10 consumers (89%) say that low gasoline prices are good for the economy. But they remain concerned about broader economic issues, such as the recent stock market decline. More than 4 in 10 consumers (41%) say that the recent stock market decline has had an impact on their financial situation.

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Toys”R”Us, Kohl’s look to fill more than 100,000 holiday jobs

BY CSA STAFF

Kohl’s and Toys"R"Us are among the first retailers to announce their holiday hiring plans this year, and the numbers are more or less the same as last year for both companies.

Toys”R”Us plans to hire 40,000 employees at its stores and distribution centers throughout the country (about 5,000 less than last year). The retailer also plans to allow seasonal workers the opportunity to take on significantly more hours than in previous years, while also continuing to provide extra hours to current employees.

"Our expanded workforce, together with our more tenured toy experts, plays a pivotal role in ensuring we provide an exceptional experience for shoppers in search of gifts that will bring huge smiles to the children in their lives," said Dave Brandon, chairman and CEO, Toys"R"Us, Inc. "We are seeking enthusiastic, highly motivated and customer-focused individuals to join our team during this busy, but very exciting time of year. Our seasonal staff helps us make parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles holiday heroes, and we are proud that many members of our workforce began as seasonal employees and have remained with us as they grow their careers."

Toys"R"Us also says it plans to leverage its social channels to feature unique stories of employees from across the country to inspire little ones and spread holiday cheer. Potential applicants and social media users are encouraged to learn more and join the conversation using #ToyExperts on the company's Careers channels: Facebook.com/Ruscareers, @ToysrusCareers on Twitter andInstagram and LinkedIn, as well as the official Toys"R"Us Twitter and Instagram accounts, @Toysrus.

Meanwhile, Kohl's plans to hire an extra 69,000 workers for the holiday selling season, about 3% more than last year. Kohl's, which has 1,166 stores, said it would hire an average of 50 workers per store.

The company said it also expected to hire about 9,500 seasonal workers at its distribution and e-commerce fulfillment centers and about 660 in its credit operations. Most positions will be filled by mid-November, the company said.

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