DESIGN/CONSTRUCTION

Westlake Ace Hardware adds new Kansas store

BY CSA STAFF

Westlake Ace Hardware has entered into a lease agreement and will be opening a new store in Overland Park, Kansas.

Lenexa, Kansas-based Westlake will take possession of the 15,500-sq.-ft. store on July 29. The store is the current location of Dobbels True Value Hardware. It will officially reopen as a Westlake Ace in fall 2016. Dobbels is currently having a going-out-of-business sale.

The new store will have a 12,500-sq.-ft.sales floor and sell traditional hardware products, as well as pet care, outdoor living, and barbecue products. Additionally, it will feature a large garden center and provide a wide range of seasonal lawn and garden supplies. A grand opening event will be held in October.

“Westlake is a growing and vibrant brand, and a valuable resource for our customers everywhere,” said Tom Knox, CEO of Westlake. “The addition of our newest store in Overland Park exemplifies our strategy to continually expand the Westlake brand in ways that make sense for our customers. Dobbels has been an important part of the Overland Park community for a very long time. We are looking forward to upholding their fine tradition of service by offering our new customers the highest level of products and service available.”

Westlake currently has 19 locations in the Kansas City metro area, and a total of 91 neighborhood hardware stores in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico. The chain has been part of the Ace hardware distribution network since 1959 and a wholly-owned Ace subsidiary since 2012.

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ERP/CRM

Tractor Supply Co. unearths pricing insights

BY CSA STAFF

Rural lifestyle retailer Tractor Supply Co. has been strengthening its IT infrastructure to support growth, and now is turning its attention to pricing.

Tractor Supply Co. plans to grow from 1,500 to 2,500 stores, and has been shifting to a Web-scale architecture and new ERP platform. Now the company is extending an existing partnership with merchandise optimization solutions provider Revionics Inc. through 2019.

Using the Revionics price suite, the retailer has implemented diverse price strategies throughout the country. Tractor Supply has also continued its focus on pricing intelligently based on the needs of its customers, and believes strategic pricing results in customer loyalty while meeting key business goals. The chain seeks to drive additional business impact and ROI through more sophisticated use of Revionics’ price and markdown optimization suites.

Having an efficient IT architecture and ERP platform is vital for any retailer seeking to support increased sales and store growth. However, all that supporting infrastructure and analytical capacity by itself will not drive increased revenue if a retailer does not know how to optimally set or alter prices at a localized level. By deepening its use of price and markdown optimization technology, Tractor Supply is helping ensure its infrastructure investments provide a maximum return.

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SECURITY/RISK

NRF: Inventory shrink getting worse

BY CSA STAFF

If it seems like more if your inventory is disappearing, you’re probably not imagining things.

According to the 2016 National Retail Federation (NRF) Retail Security Study, conducted in collaboration with the University of Florida, retailers’ inventory shrink averaged 1.38% of retail sales, or $45.2 billion in 2015, up by 3% from $44 billion the previous year.

Almost half (47%) of retailers surveyed reported increases in overall inventory shrink in 2015, with shoplifting accounting for the greatest cause with an average loss of $377 per incident (39%), up nearly $60 from 2014.

Robberies continue to be a rapidly growing expense for retailers, costing an average of $8,180, more than triple $2,465 the previous year. NRF data shows the dramatic rise in loss by robberies in 2015 was driven by an increase in jewelry stores reporting extremely high average losses.

The study found a decrease in the average loss from dishonest employee cases, $1,546.83 to $1,233.77. Although the number of employee apprehensions increased, prosecutions, terminations and civil demands for these type of internal incidents dropped.

When it comes to retailers budgeting for the loss prevention sector, the survey reported that budgets remained flat year-over-year as a percentage of sales. However, the total number of loss prevention personnel per $1 billion in sales increased from 32.5% in 2014 to 37.5% in 2015.

“With a constantly evolving retail landscape, loss prevention becomes more complex every day,” said NRF VP of Loss Prevention Bob Moraca. “LP professionals have been working diligently to find advancements in technology aimed at deterring crime in our industry, sometimes even before it happens – but as our techniques get more sophisticated, so too do the criminals.”

The survey of 80 senior retail loss prevention executives from various sectors was conducted March 22 to April 22, 2016.

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