Shopatron debuts free inventory lookup API
San Luis Obispo, Calif. — Shopatron, a provider of cloud-based distributed order management solutions, is releasing a free inventory visibility API. Shopatron Retailer Inventory Lookup is a cloud-based solution that offers enterprise-wide inventory visibility and also provides retailers with actionable analytics to improve in-store operations, stocking, merchandising and product marketing.
The solution enables retailers to instantly connect customers with local, available inventory.
Powered by Shopatron’s lightweight and flexible APIs, Inventory Lookup integrates with nearly any e-commerce platform. With Inventory Lookup’s extensive reporting capabilities, retailers are not tethered to historical store sales data for inventory planning. The solution’s intuitive dashboard allows store-level merchandisers and employees to analyze data in several views, including visual trend lines and graphs based on location, date ranges, SKUs or product families, in addition to customized views in any third-party reporting system through an API connection.
Martinez in new role at HSN
Maria Martinez was elevated to the role of chief human resources officer at HSN, Inc., a $3.4 billion interactive multichannel retailer.
Martinez most recently served as an SVP at HSNi overseeing talent development. In her new role, she will be responsible for providing leadership in executing human resources strategies in support of the company’s business objectives, according to the company. She will have specific responsibility for talent acquisition and assessment, succession planning, leadership development, employee engagement, performance management, total rewards, and wellness programs.
"Maria has developed and spearheaded a number of internal initiatives that have supported our strategic objectives and made an impact across the HSNi portfolio of brands," said Mindy Grossman, HSNi’s CEO. "She is innovative and results-oriented and her proven track record as a leader and expertise in human resources makes her the perfect candidate for this position."
Martinez first joined HSN in 1995 as a manager in human resources and was promoted to vp in 2005. She left HSN and went on to hold several senior-level positions in human resources for Bausch & Lomb and Darden Restaurants. She also established the Laser Spine Institute’s human resources function. She rejoined HSN in 2010 as an SVP.
Pep Boys does digital with tires under pressure
Automotive service is one thing Amazon.com can’t offer online, but Pep Boys has figured out how to digitally enable its business to drive solid growth.
The company reported relatively flat sales and a decline in profitability during its first quarter, but what stood out was the strength of the company’s digital offering that underpins a strategy called, “Road Ahead.” Commenting on the financial results, Pep Boys president and CEO Mike Odell said, “we also continued to see strong growth in pepboys.com digital operations, which includes on-line service appointments, tire sales that are made on-line and installed in our stores, ship-to-home sales and products that are ordered on-line and picked up in our stores.”
As a result, sales through digital operations accounted for 4% of first quarter sales of $539 million compared to 2.3% of sales of $536 million the prior year. The company’s total sales at its 800 stores with 7,500 service bays increased roughly half a percent. The modest top line growth was driven by the addition of new locations as same store sales decreased 1.4%, due to a 2.8% decline in product sales caused largely by tire price deflation, offset by a 3.2% comp increase in service revenue.
Profits for the first quarter declined to $1.6 million, or three cents a share, compared to profits of $3.9 million, or seven cents a share the prior year, and were negatively affecting by an asset impairment charge and litigation expense. Operating profit for the first quarter nearly doubled to $6 million from $3.5 million.
“Our first quarter operating profit improved significantly over the prior year driven primarily by higher gross margin,” CEO Odell said. “Our core service business remains solid and we expect tire sales trends to improve in the back half of the year. Through the first five weeks of the second quarter, we have seen our service business improve to a positive comp despite the continued pressure in tire pricing. Our service business footprint also continues its growth with 25 new Service & Tire Centers planned for 2014.”