OPERATIONS

POSitive Technology teams with It’Sugar for expansion

BY Staff Writer

Washington, D.C. — POS solution-provider POSitive Technology said Thursday that It’Sugar has selected them as their POS partner to implement the Microsoft Dymanics RMS and OpSuite solutions to meet the company’s growth needs.

Candy retailer It’Sugar plans to open as many as 10 new stores in 2012, in addition to continuous updating and refreshing of inventory to keep pace with sales and customer preferences, said the company.

With 20 It’Sugar stores, It’Sugar manages some 9,728 SKUs of confectionery, gifts and other merchandise. To meet its goals, It’Sugar needed a reliable, responsive retail management system that could translate POS transactions into actionable business information for corporate management.

OpSuite’s real time sales reports allow the corporate office to see every sale within three to five seconds of the transaction.

"We track and manage inventory from our corporate offices in Florida on a daily basis," said Butch Smith, It’Sugar IT manager. "But we don’t work from warehouses. Everything is drop-shipped directly to the stores, so having a system that gives us instantaneous access to sales data lets our buyers make accurate decisions based on facts rather than gut feelings.”

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News

FAO Schwarz celebrates 150 years

BY CSA STAFF

WAYNE, N.J. — When Tom Hanks danced across FAO Schwarz’s giant piano in the movie "Big," it established the store’s iconic status. Now celebrating its 150th anniversary, FAO Schwarz honor its legacy with in-store events, commemorative product offerings, a showcase of brand archives and an enhanced website that together will present the brand’s storied history.

“For 15 decades, FAO Schwarz has created a magical, one-of-a-kind retail environment, bringing joy to millions of kids and kids-at-heart,” said Jerry Storch, chairman and CEO, Toys“R”Us Inc., which exclusively operates the FAO Schwarz brand. “As we celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2012, we are excited to evoke nostalgic memories by highlighting the brand’s past, while continuing to elevate the FAO Schwarz experience through redesigned store features and unique new product offerings.”

The year-long celebration began this week when company founder Frederick August Otto Schwarz was inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame at the Toy of the Year Awards in New York City. At the store, the real-life "toy" soldiers are sporting a new look to honor the sesquicentennial. Inside the store, special displays call out the anniversary including a gallery filled with classic toys and brand artifacts including the original Crayola 64 Box, first edition G.I. Joe action figures and a vintage Barbie Doll. In addition, the company will offer limited-edition items from Mattel, Hasbro, Playmobil and more.

The celebration extends online with a revamped FAO.com website that will highlight a dedicated feature shop of 150th anniversary products that have been created especially to mark the occasion.

In the social space, the company’s Facebook page, Facebook.com/FAO, will undergo a similar transformation, featuring images of the famed flagship location, as well as trivia and facts culled from 150 years of FAO Schwarz history and more.

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FINANCE

GNC profit up in Q4; on track to open 300 net new stores globally

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Pittsburgh — GNC Holdings reported Thursday that net income for the fourth quarter rose to $37.7 million, compared with $18.8 million a year earlier.

Revenue increased 17% to $509.6 million in the quarter; domestic same-store sales rose 12.1%.

In 2012, GNC plans to open approximately 125 net new domestic retail locations, 15 net new domestic franchise locations, 150 net new international franchise locations, and 50 net new GNC-Rite Aid store-within-a-store locations.

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