Making Online Treasure-Hunting Possible

This major retailer needed in-season planning tools to drive sales, manage inventory, and maximize margin

With annual revenues in excess of $25 Billion, this major U.S. off-price retailer was planning to launch a new ecommerce channel in mid-2014. Many new processes and systems were required to support the initiative.

The company expected to be able to use commercial off-the- shelf software for systems support. Because of the unique nature of their business, many of these solutions required significant customization and adaptation – particularly those related to merchandise planning and markdown optimization.

The Challenge

It became clear that not all critical systems would be ready for the site launch – due largely to the complexity, effort and time required for customization. It was also becoming apparent that the performance of these systems was impacted by these changes and would fail to meet required service levels.

The company worked diligently with their software vendors at resolving these issues, but with an approaching launch date a decision had to be made – either delay launch, or launch with crippled systems.

The Approach

T4G was engaged to see if a third option – a set of custom built applications –could be developed to provide the full range of functionality required to support the business.

Working with the company’s merchandise and IT teams, T4G designed, developed and deployed a complete planning solution that fully met their needs. The application included planning modules for optimizing both pre – and in-season merchandising processes. In-season tools include the primary markdown optimization engine – critical in the world of off-price retail, as well as ladder planning.

The Result

With the support of T4G’s retail experts, the client’s ecommerce merchants now have a solution that is fully tailored to their needs for merchandise financial planning, in-season markdown optimization and in-season merchandise planning. Within a single view, merchants have complete visibility of their current inventory levels, forecasted sales, forecasted copy/imaging needs, committed receipts, and open-to-buy.

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