OPERATIONS

Sears Canada to cut 600 more jobs

BY Dan Berthiaume

Toronto – Sears Canada, which laid off more than 1,300 employees on Jan. 15, is cutting an additional 624 jobs. In a press release, the retailer said it is modifying its store structure to improve efficiency and increase the effectiveness of the chain of communication between management and the store associate teams within the stores.

Sears Canada will eliminate primarily a mid-tier level of leads within its full-line stores, resulting in an average reduction of five associates per store. There will also be an alignment of the regional and head office structures to reflect the new store model, and also to improve efficiency in Sears other formats and to align with the size of the business. This will result in a staff reduction of 624 associates.

“The changes we are making in stores will not affect the number of front-line associates, and service to our customers will not be impacted,” said Doug Campbell, president and CEO, Sears Canada Inc. “Our current structure results in inefficiencies and barriers to effective communication among store associates and the changes we are making are designed to result in better store execution and consistency of presentation and standards. We continue to plan for the future of Sears Canada and are taking steps today that will allow us to continue serving customers as a viable national retailer coast to coast in stores and through our direct channel now and in the future.”

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Walgreens brings data analytics to clinics

BY Dan Berthiaume

Deerfield Park, Ill. – Walgreens is expanding its relationship with Inovalon, Inc. to implement its patient assessment tool and technology platform to support improvements in care, quality and risk score accuracy programs across more than 400 Healthcare Clinics at select Walgreens locations. The convergence of Inovalon’s data-driven patient assessment tool, Electronic Patient Assessment Solution Suite (ePASS), and Healthcare Clinic at select Walgreens brings Inovalon’s analysis of more than 8.3 billion medical events brings analytic insights to Healthcare Clinic programs.

Inovalon’s ePASS system delivers a patient assessment tool with individualized predictive analytics to the point of care. The risk score models of Medicare Advantage, Commercial Health Insurance Exchange, and state managed Medicaid are each supported within the ePASS system. Similarly, the industry’s wide array of quality outcomes programs including HEDIS, CMS Stars, state Medicaid programs, and commercial accreditation requirements of NCQA and URAC are supported within the platform provided at Healthcare Clinics at select Walgreens locations.

“By integrating data analytics, we can gain even deeper insights to help improve patient care and, ultimately, outcomes,” said Heather Helle, divisional VP, Healthcare Clinic. “We continue to expand the scope of services, capabilities and footprint at Healthcare Clinics. These types of innovative solutions enable our nurse practitioners and physician assistants to play an increasingly important role as part of a patient’s care team.”

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Urban Outfitters selects planning solution

BY Dan Berthiaume

Philadelphia — Urban Outfitters, Inc. has selected TXT Integrated Retail Planning from TXT Maple Lake to support end-to-end retail planning across regions, brands and channels, from strategy through to assortment execution. The solution will help Urban Outfitters, Inc. manage the whole spectrum of its retail planning processes: strategic, merchandise planning, store grading, open to buy (OTB) and assortment planning, both pre-season and in-season.

Planning teams will create and manage their planning processes and OTB across the brands and channels at various levels as required within each brand. Next they will use this information to suggest the framework of an Assortment Plan for the buyers. Buyers will be able to design the best assortments to drive sales and customer satisfaction.

“The rapid international and multichannel growth we are experiencing creates new levels of complexity from a planning and assortment standpoint, said Calvin Hollinger, chief administrative officer of Urban Outfitters, Inc. “We need a solution to help us accurately plan inventory across our many product categories, channels and growing international business, then translate that demand into effective buying, merchandise and assortment plans. TXT can provide those capabilities within one integrated solution.”

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