Thrift store chain goes ‘wireless’
Staying true to its “thrifty” roots, Savers has added a robust wireless solution without breaking the bank.
Savers, the largest for-profit thrift store chain in North America, operates 320 retail locations in the United States, Canada and Australia. Over the last decade, the company has expanded and modernized its enterprise in a number of ways. For example, it added a call center located in El Paso, Texas, a move that supports scheduling operations like donation pick-ups and trucking operations among smaller charity organizations that did not have infrastructure in place.
The company also expanded its Bellevue, Washington, headquarters to nearby Renton. Savers also manages more than 10 regional distribution centers and warehouses to support its growing retail stores.
However, all of this expansion was taking a toll its existing wide area network (WAN). Besides struggling to support operations, the company was burdened with a break-fix model of support, which was too time-consuming to solve IT problems.
That’s when the company began exploring a move toward a Wi-Fi solution — a move that would support continuous store operations, support store-level mobile operations, and more flexibility when augmenting internal operations. It also needed to allow visiting employees and corporate staff to connect to the corporate network from any retail location. As a company that thrives on thrift however, cost was also a key factor in their decision.
Savers chose Aerohive as its wireless network standard across all retail stores and corporate operations. It deployed Aerohive access points across retail stores and trucking operations, as well as among corporate offices and locations. The company also supports network management, and secure device authentication among a new guest network.
“There is always someone who has the ability to build a better mousetrap,” said Charles Blair, IT infrastructure manager at Savers. “Now Savers team members in our retail locations have the flexibility to brainstorm ways for increased productivity, and can move workstation configurations without additional cost.”
Looking ahead, the retailer plans to deploy access points in retail locations with integrated Bluetooth capabilities. This will allow Savers to connect with customers, including unauthenticated users — a move that will drive customer interaction, offer promotional opportunities and enable push notifications, according to the company.
Savers, which operates under the banners Savers, Value Village, Village des Valeurs in Canada and Savers Australia, generates revenues of more than $1 billion worldwide.
M.Gemi bolsters in-store experience
M.Gemi, the Boston-based Italian-made footwear brand, is using a digital tool to drive in-store customer satisfaction.
The direct-to-consumer retailer, which was founded online but recently jumped to the physical space, has launched an app for store associates that combines online and offline functions, allowing associates to provide an elevated experience for store shoppers.
Powered by mobile commerce platform PredictSpring, the app gives associates access to customer information including name, date of birth, past purchase history, including the ability to see items added to the customer’s online cart. In addition to clienteling, the app provides real-time inventory data. With one click, store associates can check the availability of online inventory and arrange for shipment directly to the customer. This allows M.Gemi to limit in-store inventory in terms of storage and sizes.
The app can also be integrated with a hand-held payment capture device to provide a user-friendly mobile checkout process.
"PredictSpring has enabled our store associates to seamlessly assist customers and ensure that their needs a met from the moment they walk in, until the moment they checkout,” said Cheryl Kaplan, co-founder and president of M.Gemi.
Founded online in 2015, M.Gemi operates two freestanding stores, in New York City's SoHo neighborhood and Boston's Prudential Center, in addition to its e-commerce site.
The brand works directly with a network of family-owned factories in Italy. New products are delivered in store and online each week. Because it sells direct with no middle man, it is able to offer a luxury handcrafted product at an accessible price point.
Menswear company sets its sights on improving the customer experience
Tailored Brands has taken steps to identify shoppers and drive customer satisfaction.
The menswear company operates more than 1,400 locations in the U.S. and Canada, as well as digital channels, across a variety of brands. By partnering with ForeSee, Tailored Brands now has a solution that manages all customer experience (CX) intelligence from one centralized location.
Using the ForeSee CX Suite, Tailored Brands now listens to, captures, measures and benchmarks customer feedback across web, mobile, store or locations, and contact centers. As a result, the solution delivers a unified view of the customer, and provides scientific measurement of CX across the entire customer journey.
After completing a successful pilot program, the company is now ready to expand the suite’s functionality to measure customer satisfaction across all of its retail brands and omnichannel experiences, including web, store locations, and fulfillment. The CX measurement solution delivers methodology-backed, calibrated customer feedback and insights — the foundation needed to fully represent the customer experience at Tailored Brands.
“At Tailored Brands, we pride ourselves on providing world class customer service, so our goal is not just to meet our customers’ expectations, but to exceed them whenever possible,” said Mark Neutze, executive VP, store operations and real estate, Tailored Brands. “With the methodology behind ForeSee CX Suite, we will be able to better identify and act on important customer satisfaction drivers across all of our customer touchpoints.”
Tailored Brands’ is applying technology across its banners, including Men's Wearhouse, Jos. A. Bank, Joseph Abboud, Moores Clothing for Men and K&G. The company also operates an international corporate apparel and workwear group consisting of Dimensions, Alexandra and Yaffy in the United Kingdom, and Twin Hill in the United States.