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Ugam releases assortment management tool

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – Ugam, a provider of managed analytics technology, has released Assortment Intelligence, a solution that generates insights for retailers about what products to keep, carry and drop, based on real-time data collection and analysis. The solution delivers rich, accurate, up-to-the-minute data that helps merchandisers identify assortment gaps and opportunities to differentiate their offerings.

It synthesizes competitive data and consumer e-demand signals, including search data, ratings, reviews, and social media likes and pins, to analyze the competitive landscape and identify demand trends to enable retailers to make better, more systematic and timely assortment decisions.

The Assortment Intelligence solution is based on the company’s proprietary technology, which calculates consumer demand for a given product, and is part of Ugam’s unique big data platform, which provides retailers and brands with a single repository of product data that powers pricing, assortment and content decisions. It provides assortment intelligence in several key areas: what customers want, why they want it, what products to carry, and how to deliver them in a competitive time-frame.

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GameStop to deploy iBeacon, social media tools

BY Dan Berthiaume

Grapevine, Texas – The GameStop Technology Institute (GTI) business unit of GameStop has entered into strategic partnerships with iBeacon solution providers Shelfbucks and BestFit Mobile, as well as social media hub provider Dynamic Signal. The partnership with Shelfbucks and BestFit will bring Shelfbucks’ iBeacon platform and BestFit Mobile’s ProxDK solution into to its brick-and-mortar retail locations.

By moving smartphones close to beacons installed on store shelving, GameStop customers will be able to instantly receive real-time, customized offers via the retailer’s app. As a result, customers will be able to receive digital content that is specifically tailored to their areas of interest while shopping inside a physical GameStop store.

Under the terms of the agreement with GTI, the Shelfbucks iBeacon Platform will provide the configuration, deployment and ongoing operation/support for the in-store beacons, as well as the platform to integrate with GameStop’s promotions, while BestFit’s Mobile ProxDK solution will enable for seamless consumer engagement based on a user’s proximity to beacons. Moving forward, the collaboration between the three technology providers will also serve as a basis for future retail innovations related to enhancing customer experiences in physical stores.

“Digitization of the physical retail space has always been a top priority of GTI as we look to further GameStop’s evolution as a technology provider,” said Charlie Larkin, senior director, technology innovation at GameStop. “Through our partnership with Shelfbucks and our initial deployment of their iBeacon Platform, there are numerous ways to leverage the emerging technology to deliver a next-generation shopping experience.”

Beginning in September, GTI will formally deploy the iBeacon Platform in approximately 36 locations in its Austin and College Station, Texas test markets. Following the initial test period, GameStop will assess the customer adoption and business value of the promotional capabilities with the potential for the possibility of an additional roll-out in another 60 stores by the end of the year.

In addition, GTI is partnering with Dynamic Signal to deploy Dynamic Signal’s VoiceStream social hub technology. GTI will now rely upon the VoiceStream platform to identify, recruit and engage employee advocates and provide them with the tools to share GameStop-approved content via Web and mobile devices.

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Christopher & Banks appoints new SVP, general merchandise manager

BY CSA STAFF

Christopher & Banks has appointed former National Stores executive Lynn C. Derry as SVP and general merchandise manager.

Derry has more than 30 years of senior leadership experience in retail merchandising. Most recently, she served as SVP, general merchandise manager at National Stores, a chain of retail clothing stores, overseeing women’s, men’s, children’s, footwear, accessories and home furnishings. She has previously held general merchandise manager positions at Sears Canada; Dollar General, Charming Shoppes, Bon-Ton Stores and Adam, Meldrum and Anderson Co.

“We are delighted and fortunate to have a merchant of Lynn’s caliber. She understands the CBK customer, our brand and values, and will lead a team of talented merchants,” said president and CEO LuAnn Via. “Her extensive background in apparel and accessories will serve us well as we execute on our three-year growth plan.”

“I am extremely pleased to have joined Christopher & Banks and look forward to leading the company’s merchandising, planning & allocation, and production teams,” added Derry.

Christopher & Banks is a Minneapolis-based specialty retailer of women’s clothing. As of July 30, the company operates 541 stores in 43 states consisting of 250 Christopher & Banks stores, 118 stores in its women’s plus size clothing division CJ Banks, 135 MPW stores and 38 outlet stores.

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