INVENTORY

Patagonia taps 7thonline to achieve seamless inventory across all channels

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — As part of a strategic move towards achieving seamless inventory management in an omnichannel retail environment, eco-friendly outdoor apparel retailer and wholesaler Patagonia has extended its partnership with 7thonline to support merchandise and assortment planning for its brick-and-mortar stores and e-commerce channel.

With 7thonline supporting all of its wholesale, retail and e-commerce channels, Patagonia is on track to move from a siloed, Excel-based environment to a single planning and forecasting platform. For the first time, Patagonia will gain complete visibility into global demand across all channels and geographic regions — a major bottleneck to delivering seamless inventory for many retailers.

The enhanced visibility, flexible planning capabilities, and powerful analytics will enable Patagonia better leverage its global brand appeal and translate that into winning assortments and greater inventory productivity across global markets.

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News

Clear Demand, 360pi partner on real-time price management

BY Dan Berthiaume

Scottsdale, Ariz. – Big Data pricing solution vendor Clear Demand is partnering with competitive price intelligence provider 360pi. Under this joint initiative, 360pi’s real-time price intelligence is fed into Clear Demand’s pricing platform, which in turn alerts retailers to competitive price changes, including compliance with product-line and pricing rules, and helps manage competitive price strategy.

“We collect billions of pricing and product data points for our retail clients – that’s big data,” said Alexander Rink, 360pi’s CEO. “Increasing price transparency and price dynamism across categories means these numbers are growing exponentially, adding to the challenge facing retailers. We are extremely pleased to work with retail pricing and analytics leader Clear Demand to help retailers understand what’s happening, and then take effective and sustainable action in near real-time.”

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FINANCE

Icahn demands Family Dollar sale

BY Dan Berthiaume

Matthews, N.C. – Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn, who recently engaged in a high-profile effort to force EBay to separate its PayPal business, is now demanding that Family Dollar sell itself. Icahn, who recently disclosed he has a 9.4% stake in the discount retailer, sent an open letter to Family Dollar chairman Howard Levine saying that it is imperative the company be put up for sale immediately.

In the letter, Icahn cited reasons including underperforming stock, the likelihood of “significant interest” from entities who would realize “massive synergies” from purchasing Family Dollar, and advantageous stock market and interest rate environment. Inevitable consolidation in the dollar store industry, and what he sees as support from a vast majority of Family Dollar shareholders. Icahn also said he wants three of his representatives added to the Family Dollar board immediately and will take his proposal for a sale directly to shareholders if management doesn’t support it.

“Bringing our proposal for an immediate sale of Family Dollar directly to stockholders will allow them to evaluate the merits of our suggestion and permit them a say in the future of their company, an approach that all responsible fiduciaries should support,” Icahn wrote. “Nevertheless, we view that as a last resort. We welcome an opportunity to engage directly with you and your financial and legal advisors to discuss constructively the merits of our ideas. But time is of the essence. We hope to hear from you shortly.

Family Dollar has already adopted a “poison pill” shareholder’s rights plan in preparation for possible maneuvering by Icahn. In a written response to his letter, the Family Dollar board struck a defiant tone.

“As previously announced the company is undertaking an in-depth business review to identify opportunities to strengthen our value proposition, increase operational efficiencies and improve financial performance,” said Family Dollar. “While this business review is ongoing, we continue to take immediate, strategic actions as appropriate to improve our performance. We are confident that these steps will position Family Dollar to deliver stronger returns for our shareholders.”

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