OPERATIONS

REI names COO

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Seattle — Outdoor gear and apparel retailer REI said Monday it has promoted Brian Unmacht to COO, expanding his role to oversee retail, e-commerce, merchandising, private brands, information technology and supply chain.

Unmacht started at REI as a store supervisor in 1986 and has risen through the ranks, most recently serving as executive VP over sales, service, store development and logistics.

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Jan-31-2013 08:53 am

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OPERATIONS

Snagajob poll: Election is non-factor for hourly employers’ decision-making

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Richmond, Va. — Poll results released Monday by hourly employment network Snagajob found that most hourly employers are not waiting until after Election Day to make business decisions. The survey found that more than half of hourly employers (55%) cited potential healthcare requirements as the key presidential election issue most likely to affect their business. Possible economic stimulus plans (25%) and tax code changes (14%) were among other concerns weighing on hourly employers.

But while hiring managers cited healthcare requirements as a chief concern pending the outcome of the presidential election, business as usual does indeed continue. More than two-thirds (67%) said that they did not have a “wait and see” attitude about their business plans during the campaign process.

“Some in the market may have expected that hourly employers would have a ‘wait and see’ business attitude in light of the upcoming election,” said Jason Hamilton, VP marketing, Snagajob. “But when you consider that about 60% of our workforce is paid by the hour and that hourly businesses support many of the everyday services that we depend on, it makes sense that hourly employers have to press on, presidential election or not.”

Staffing, said the group, remains the top priority – specifically, hiring and retaining good employees. When asked to evaluate a number of business factors, 64% of hourly employers said that the ability to hire good employees was “extremely important,” with a similar number citing the ability to retain good employees (63%). When evaluating other factors, 35% of hourly employers said a decrease in consumer spending was “extremely important” in terms of affecting their business, as is an increase in hard costs (29%).

The majority of hiring managers (57%) noted they encourage their employees to vote.

The online survey was administered between Sept. 7-21, 2012, garnering 362 employer responses of various industries and sizes.

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Japanese department store chain selects Teradata retail analytics

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Tokyo — Analytic data solution-provider Teradata said Monday that Takashimaya Co. has completed deployment of a Teradata data warehousing environment to serve as the primary data analytics system for centrally housing and managing its product and customer information.

Takashimaya is one of the world’s largest chains of department stores, and is the nucleus of the Takashimaya Group worldwide.

The retail chain’s management team made a decision in late 2011 to upgrade the company-wide information infrastructure and point-of-sale systems. Takashimaya consolidated five databases into one, integrated data and restructured its system to centrally manage enormous volumes of information on millions of customers and products.

The new, integrated system required powerful analytics functionality and extreme processing speed for the company’s complex, multichannel retail business. To meet these requirements, Takashimaya has deployed Teradata’s Retail Template solution, preventing the retailer from having to develop its own new applications and programs.

Currently, about 5,000 employees including general managers, sales managers, CRM staff, customer-facing staff covering stores across Japan, and the sales planning staff and buyers at headquarters are using Teradata for merchandising, marketing and insight-driven customer engagement. By consolidating and integrating five previous databases into one Teradata Data Warehouse, Takashimaya has reduced its data technology costs while enabling more efficiency in business operations.

As well, the retailer has extended its business transaction data retention and usefulness from three years to 10 years.

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