OPERATIONS

Thirty-One Gifts deploys TXT Maple Lake’s integrated retail planning software

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Thirty-One Gifts, one of the nation’s largest direct-selling companies, announced the successful go-live of TXT Maple Lake’s integrated retail planning solution. The software is helping Thirty-One Gifts manage the whole spectrum of in-season planning processes, including inventory management and open-to-buy.

Thirty-One Gifts offers an array of lifestyle products, most of which can be personalized.

“Because of our business model, which relies strongly on sales consultants’ activity and is very much driven by end-of-month sales, managing inventory and SKUs is absolutely critical to us, particularly as we transition seasons,” said Mike Mausteller, director of planning and merchandise control at Thirty-One Gifts, Columbus, Ohio. “We needed to better align our inventory strategies with demand to avoid backorders and additional air freight charges. The TXT Integrated Retail Planning solution is helping us achieve ideal inventory management and optimized product availability.”

Prior to TXT’s implementation, Thirty-One Gifts relied on spreadsheets with planning executed at month and style level. Now with support from the TXT software, users plan at a finer style/color/size level and with a weekly horizon. The solution also provides embedded performance management and dashboards, which ensure greater transparency across the business, and ultimately support more accurate fact-based decisions.

“The full planning team is using TXT and they really like the system,” added Mausteller. “The solution has helped standardize the process, with everyone working and thinking in a coordinated fashion. We chose TXT for their ability to support retail planning from end-to-end, as well as for the flexibility of the solution, which is able to adapt to our growing business. Adoption among users has proven extremely smooth.”

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Dollar General CEO: Keeping it simple is key to success

BY Michael Johnsen

Goodlettsville, Tenn. — Keep it simple — that’s secret to Dollar General’s success Rick Dreiling, chairman and CEO of the 75-year-old company said at its shareholders annual meeting.

"Simple neighborhood stores, simple, frequently-needed items and everyday low prices," he said. "For 75 years, [Dollar General has focused] on helping low- and middle-income families save money and save time by offering quality, basic merchandise at affordable prices in convenient, small-box neighborhood stores."

Dollar General is the largest discounter with more than 11,000 locations across 40 states, Dreiling said, and the company will add some 700 new stores in 2014.

"We still have room to grow," Dreiling said. "We will continue to relocate, remodel and refresh our stores to build our brand and enhance our customer shopping experience."

In 2013, Dollar General’s net sales increased by 9.2% to $17.5 billion, Dreiling said. That represents $220 per square foot. Same-store sales grew 3.3%, marking the company’s 24th consecutive year of same-store sales growth.

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Wal-Mart promotes Broader to new exec role in international division

BY Staff Writer

Bentonville, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores announced the promotion of Shelley Broader, currently president and CEO of Walmart Canada, to executive VP, president and CEO of Walmart EMEA, effective June 1. In her new role, she will lead Walmart’s retail operations and oversee business development in Europe, the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa and Canada and will report directly to David Cheesewright, president and CEO, Walmart International.

Wal-Mart will announce Broader’s successor at a later date. She will continue to have responsibility for the Canadian market — along with Europe, the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa — until her successor is in place.

Broader joined Walmart Canada as chief merchandising officer in December 2010 and was promoted to president and CEO of Walmart Canada in September 2011. She joined Walmart with more than 20 years of leadership experience across the North American retail industry, which included key leadership roles with retailers Michael’s and Hannaford Bros.

"Shelley has been a strong leader since joining Walmart Canada and is the ideal person to leverage the tremendous potential the EMEA region holds for our company," said Cheesewright. "Shelley’s leadership of our business in Canada during a time of increased competition underscores her knowledge of the retail environment which will serve her well in her new role."

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