Trends Report

Consumer Centricity Takes Merchandising Into New Territory

May 15th, 2007
With contributors:
Sharyn Leaver , Elisse Gaynor

Summary

Merchandising processes have long suffered from an inability to create closed-loop plans that: stay relevant in execution; reconcile financial objectives against unit plans; and connect supply chain implications and costs to decisions that merchants make. Hampered by inflexible systems that are highly customized or homegrown, retailers have had little opportunity to bring merchandising processes or technology into the modern age. But smart retailers are now shifting toward consumer-centric merchandising to drive merchandising decisions from market segmentation insights. Consumer-centric merchandising — with its demands for greater integration, more data-intensive analysis and optimization, and more complex execution — threatens to overwhelm current systems. Retailers don't need a big-bang replacement to keep up, but they do need to prioritize modular solutions within an overall process strategy.

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