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Fashion, accessories and homeware

retailer Oliver Bonas is suppor ting rapid growth with the merchandising functionality of its central retail management system. The mostly London-based business

ASSISTANCE The flagship branch of Duane Reade in Wall Street, New York, recently installed the Tensator Vir tual Assistant to improve the instore experience offered to shoppers. The system uses high-definition


projected imaging and audio-visual technology to create the illusion of a real person, to convey a range of sales and promotional messages. “Our Vir tual Greeter is an essential

par t of the ‘wow factor’ and serves as ambassador of the Duane Reade customer experience,” said Paul Tiberio, Duane Reade senior vice president of merchandising and chief marketing officer. “The response from everyone

has been phenomenal and people constantly do a double take to make sure they believe what they’re seeing.”

first installed Futura in 2000 when it had six stores. It has already opened two new stores this year, bringing its estate to 32 stores. Tim Hollidge, chief operating officer

of Oliver Bonas, said: “Despite adding 26 stores we haven’t had to employ the same propor tion of head office staff to keep control of the business.” As well as better buying and improving

stock allocation to shops, Hollidge said the merchandising strength in intelligent stock replenishment and planning of the software was a key reason why Oliver

Bonas has limited stock exposure. And target stock levels help the team achieve a high percentage of goods sold without markdowns. When opening the new Kings Cross

branch, Hollidge used historical data from the nearby St Pancras branch to help forecast a sales profile, to indicate what to stock, how much should be sold and to predict sales levels of different products. He repor ts that this was “enormously helpful”. The ability of Futura to update the

system with sales levels and stock sold from each branch every 10 minutes enables live replenishment, giving the retailer an advantage in maximising the instore availability of fast-selling lines. Hollidge recalled staff reactions to

the provision of extended repor ting capabilities: “My store managers had been at an all day pre-Christmas meeting. That evening they were curious to see how their stores had performed in their absence. I was able to show them using Futura’s new mobile app. They were tremendously excited and a bit stunned that I could see all the sales in all the shops on my mobile almost in real time.” He concluded: “We are a dynamic

company keen to grow and we depend on Futura’s stability and strength to allow us to expand steadily.”


Hotel Chocolat has worked with Quantiv on the design and build of new merchandise and store planning software called Planner. Capable of meeting the stringent

demands of the British chocolatier’s diverse multichannel, multi-territory business model, the Manchester-based software provider said its software has been designed to optimise service levels and profitability throughout the High Street retail company. The Planner application is tailored to ensure the right product is available at the


right time across Hotel Chocolat’s range of physical and virtual stores, including those on the High Street and concessions, online retailers and café concept stores in the UK, as well in the US, Europe, the Middle East and its St Lucia plantation hotel. The software provides a system for

unifying, accessing and analysing data across various channels, territories and products. Quantiv added that it is capable of helping merchandise planners to analyse trends, create plans, report and take decisions in- season to increase sales and optimise profit margins.

Hotel Chocolat, stated: “We operate in a fast paced, ever-changing environment, so we need a solution that is powerful, robust and flexible enough to cope with the complexity of our merchandising needs. “Planner, being one of the most

revolutionary and adaptable tools on the market, fits our requirements exactly. In addition, Quantiv’s implementation and development philosophy, along with the company’s can-do attitude and reputation for delivery and service, makes Planner the ideal choice for us.”

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