INVENTORY

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory deploys WhenToManage’s solutions

BY Staff Writer

Norwalk, Conn. — WhenToManage announced that its suite of retail operations solutions, including point-of-sale intelligence, labor scheduling and inventory management tools, is now being deployed by Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, an international franchiser, confectionery manufacturer and retail operator.

Previously limited by the POS software provided by the systems of its franchisees, Rocky Mountain’s enterprise IT team chose to switch to WhenToManage’s system-neutral software for significantly improved functionality, reliability, and data management capabilities.

In addition, franchisees now have the option to utilize WhenToManage’s user-friendly solutions on their system-of-choice for improved in-store operations.

“During our most recent evaluation of in-store IT we recognized that, with the introduction of variations in the RMCF brand, a one size fits all POS solution was no longer an optimal solution for our organization,” said Key Jobson, CIO, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. “That’s when we took a step back and realized we no longer need to be restricted to a single POS solution and that vendor’s retail analysis and reporting tool set. After reviewing options in the marketplace, we selected WhenToManage for its ability to work with many certified POS systems, while meeting our consolidated data and analytical operations needs on a corporate and store-by-store basis.”

WhenToManage retail management tools are being made available to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory’s 235 franchisees and 15 corporate stores in the U.S. Early adopting franchisees are in the process of implementing the WhenToManage suite-of-solutions, which includes web-based labor scheduling, POS reporting, inventory management and more, all bundled into one reporting platform.

“WhenToManage is in our sweet spot because it’s well-targeted to specialty retail, franchisee owners, and the needs of a large, global franchisor,” said Jobson. “We are very satisfied with WhenToManage’s responsiveness in quickly applying their technology to our specific needs. Also, while we anticipate that most of our franchisees will adopt WhenToManage, the solution allows us corporately to collect, store and analyze data from all of our operators regardless of their participation.”

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STORE SPACES

Record expansion for Kum & Go

BY Marianne Wilson

West Des Moines, Iowa — Convenience-store operator Kum & Go. opened 43 stores in nine states — more than double its previous record of 21 new stores in 2009 — in 2012, for a total of 430 stores in 11 states. The company plans to continue its growth strategy in the coming years.

“We’re not letting up,” president and CEO Kyle J. Krause said. “Our growth plan for the next five years is just as aggressive.”

In addition to expanding in its existing markets, Kum & Go is targeting growth in new markets. “We entered the Little Rock, Ark., and Colorado Springs, Colo., markets this year,” Krause said. “These two brand new markets show our determination to identify favorable metropolitan areas that meet our new store criteria and offer strong growth potential.”

New Kum & Go stores feature an increased focus on sustainability.

“All of our new store prototypes since 2011 are submitted for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design [LEED] certification,” Krause said.

Currently, 17 stores are LEED-certified. Another 19 have been submitted for certification, and 28 are registered. Eco-friendly store features include sustainable materials, reflective concrete, high-efficiency equipment, alternative fuels, LED lighting, daylighting, water-saving fixtures and more.

“As part of our sustainability, we offer many types of different bio-fuel options, including both E10 and E85 ethanol products,” said Krause. “These fuel options support our local agricultural economies while reducing our dependence on foreign oil. At the same time, we’re a leader in auto diesel, with more than two-thirds of our locations offering auto diesel at the pump.”

The company’s social responsibility also includes giving back to the communities in which it operates. Kum & Go shares 10% of its profits with charitable and educational causes each year. Members of the Kum & Go team are also encouraged to give of their time to important local causes.

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OPERATIONS

Wet Seal names Sears exec as CEO

BY Marianne Wilson

Foothill Ranch, Calif. — The Wet Seal has named John D. Goodman to serve as its new CEO, with his appointment effective Jan. 7. He replaces former CEO Susan McGalla, who was fired by the company in July 2012 amid sliding sales.

Goodman, who initially joined the Wet Seal as a board member in September 2012, is an apparel industry executive with over 25 years of experience at companies such as Gap, Inc., Levi Strauss & Co., Mervyn’s, and Bloomingdale’s. Most recently, he served as EVP, chief apparel and home officer, Sears Holdings, overseeing both the Sears and Kmart brands. From 2008 to 2009, he led the turnaround at Charlotte Russe.

"I have always viewed Wet Seal as a pioneer in fast fashion and am thrilled to join the company as CEO," Goodman said "I am honored to have this opportunity to work with the company’s executives and associates in both merchandising and operations and return the brand to its roots and drive long-term success.”

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