RIS News Editor-in-Chief Joe Skorupa Interviews 4R’s CEO Kevin Stadler NRF’s 2017 Big Show in New York.
Source: Harvard Business Review, Marshall Fisher, Vishal Gaur, and Herb Kleinberger
FROM THE JANUARY–FEBRUARY 2017 ISSUE
Companies in all industries eventually see their revenue growth slow. Retailers are no exception. Fickle consumers, intense competition, changing markets, and the rapid encroachment of online retailing all combine to exert pressure on the top line. The retail graveyard is filled with chains such as Circuit City, Austin Reed, Linens ’n Things, Loehmann’s, British Home Stores, RadioShack, and the Sports Authority—that expanded rapidly and then, faced with declining growth, couldn’t find ways to change course.
Mark Garland and the 4R team are pleased to participate in GDS Summits across Europe. We value the opportunity to connect with retail leaders, listen to their challenges and share our profit-optimizing omni retail solutions.
BY FRANK PALAZZO, SENIOR PRODUCT MANAGER
Q: How has the move toward consumer-centric assortments changed omnichannel retailers’ merchandising strategies?
FRANK PALAZZO: Consumer-centric assortments imply higher degrees of localization and faster reactions to market trends than ever before. Omni-retail adds complexity to the situation, where consumer expectations around customization and product availability are greater. To stay ahead of these trends, merchandisers need to view assortment management as an ongoing core function. It must continue throughout the year and be driven by consumer demand rather than a fixed schedule. This means constantly monitoring category performance and prioritizing reviews accordingly. Traditional merchandising strategies, such as SKU rationalization, have proven to miss important connections between assortment composition and sales results. Assortment planning activities must incorporate consumer tastes and preferences that can only be harvested from big data. Merchandisers are looking to leverage science-driven methods, such as systems analytics, to augment traditional decision-making previously driven only by experience and judgment. In addition, these tools must have visibility into all merchandise planning functions to produce the best result, including promotions, marketing materials, and supply chain.