Walmex capital spending up
New York — Wal-Mart de Mexico expects to spend up to $1.4 billion on investments in 2013. But the chain declined to discuss how many stores it will open.
The chain did say that it expects to increase total store space by 8% to 9% in Mexico and 6% in Central America this year.
"We think that the number of stores does not communicate much," said CEO Scot Rank in response to a question by an analyst, Reuters reported.
Home Hardware Center completes implementation of Epicor Eagle in a hosted environment
Dublin, Calif. — Epicor Software Corp. announced that Home Hardware Center, part of Central Network Retail Group, completed its integration of Epicor Eagle in February 2013. It is Epicor’s first major installation of Epicor Eagle delivered in a software as a service (SaaS) hosted environment.
CNRG operates 41 home center and hardware stores in seven Southern states – 38 of those currently operate using Epicor solutions. CNRG strives to offer consumers regional merchandise selection and availability provided by independent hardware chains and home centers while taking advantage of the merchandising efficiencies enjoyed by national chains.
“CNRG is a multi-brand, multi-format retailer in the hardware and home center industry,” said Boyden Moore, president of CNRG. “Many of our acquisitions have been Epicor customers and we needed to pull them together. We challenged the team at Epicor to come up with a solution that made more sense to us. We feel strongly that a cloud-based or hosted solution provides a better infrastructure for the speed and flexibility our company needs. Epicor was able to fulfill that requirement by offering us the Epicor Eagle hosting service for our 21 Home Hardware Center stores. The transition from our server to the hosted server was extremely smooth.”
Home Hardware Center, based in Mississippi, is the first CNRG retailer to make the switch.
“The conversion and go-live was an absolute success,” said Jimmy Smith, chairman of CNRG and founder of Home Hardware Center. “The integration with our multi-store layout was fast and seamless. There was no downtime, all our stores and terminals were up and running first thing Monday morning.”
“We are pleased to announce the successful implementation of the hosted Epicor Eagle solution in partnership with CNRG,” said Craig McCollum, executive vice president and general manager, retail distribution solutions for Epicor. “In today’s businesses, every resource must be weighed in order to operate at maximum efficiency with cost effectiveness at the top-of-mind. Hosted solutions can provide significant time savings over on-premise environments, which allows for more time to focus on driving business initiatives and serving customers.”
CNRG’s Home Hardware Center now runs their business from a highly error-tolerant datacenter environment by subscribing to the Epicor Eagle hosting service.
“We believe with Epicor Eagle hosting our data and our business is safer than it has ever been,” said Smith.
The company’s critical business data is located in an Epicor Tier-4 datacenter that provides significant redundancy and fault-tolerance in regards to power, network circuits, backups, security, and server hardware.
The latest version of the Epicor Eagle software includes the comprehensive hosting capability that enables businesses, like CNRG, to offer use of their software to independent retail members. This important feature allows for the support, growth, increased efficiency, and safety for the retailers. All proprietary information is protected for each business using the Epicor Eagle hosting service.
Neil Ashe has some explaining to do
President and CEO of Walmart Global eCommerce, Neil Ashe, made a cameo appearance during Walmart’s fourth quarter earnings presentation to shed light on omnichannel investments that caused the company to forecast 2013 profits below analysts’ estimates.
Walmart’s forecast first quarter earnings in the range of $1.11 to $1.16 and full year earnings in the range of $5.20 to $5.40. Embedded in those numbers are huge investments in ecommerce that will cost the company about nine cents a share.
"We are excited about the opportunities these investments will provide," said Walmart CFO Charles Holley.
An expense impact of nine cents a share at a company the size of Walmart is more than material, so Ashe was included in the roster of speakers commenting on results. He provided details on Walmart’s fundamental ecommerce strategy which entails four strategic priorities: to excel in the fundamentals of e-commerce, innovate in new areas like big data, social and mobile, win key markets such as the U.S., the U.K., Brazil, uniting and expanding the Walmart platform to do what no one else can do, and build a best-in-class e-commerce that can be combined with the retail footprint to deliver to customers what no one else can deliver.
"To realize these strategies, we’re developing a global technology platform, and we are investing in local assortment and fulfillment capabilities in each of our markets. We are becoming known for our ability to build and deploy technology for the benefit of our customers," Ashe said.
He noted that in the past year the company developed and launched a product search engine that is regarded as best-in-class and developed pricing optimization tools which allow for the deliver of reliably low prices to customers in the dynamic e-commerce pricing environment. He also said Walmart has made major advancements in mobile commerce and is operating one of the largest and most effective big data initiatives in e-commerce.
"The investments we’ve made so far in our e-commerce business are delivering. Revenue growth is accelerating and ahead of our plans," Ashe said. "During the fourth quarter, we took share in all of our key markets. In the United States, we led on key days and had our largest sales day on Cyber Monday. We served more customers more effectively than we ever have before."
In 2013, Ashe said Walmart will continue to penetrate key markets and drive the development of its global technology platform. The company will also invest in the development of what Ashe called, "the next generation fulfillment network that incorporates stores, distribution centers and online dedicated fulfillment centers," with the goal of being the fastest and most efficient at getting customers the products they want when and where they want them.