BIG news from the NRF BIG Show

SAS' BIG booth at the NRF BIG show

What brings more than 20,000 retailers to NYC in mid-January? I can promise you, it’s not the balmy 15 degree temperatures --  it’s the 101st NRF BIG SHOW, where SAS is a platinum sponsor. This is my first year attending this event – and it’s a bit overwhelming, so here’s a quick summary of BIG news from the conference floor:

  1. The next wave of merchandise planning has arrived – Created with input from leading retailers, SAS® Retail Planning provides the ability to “speak the language” of individual stores to localize assortments -- and overcomes computing limitations. Retailers like Belk, Family Dollar, the Marine Corps Exchange, Marks & Spencer,, ShopKo and Winn-Dixie have all succeeded using SAS Retail Planning software, as has Kohl's. "Localizing our assortments is a key growth initiative for Kohl’s,” said Bernie Powers, Kohl’s Senior Vice President, Merchandise Information. “By tailoring our offering by market we are able to increase engagement with local customers. The enhancements that SAS is making to its merchandise planning product in 2012 will enable our merchants and planners to develop and execute these customized assortments more easily.”
  2. Retailers look to high-performance computing -- It’s not magic, but it’s close: In 2012, retailers will be able to use SAS for forecasting and all phases of the pricing lifecycle as more software moves onto the SAS® High-Performance Analytics Platform. While not a magic wand, per se, SAS® High-Performance Retail Forecasting and SAS® High-Performance Revenue Optimization comes close by shaving hours, if not days, off the critical processes of forecasting demand and adjusting local pricing.“Retailers maximize returns with optimization technologies,” said Deborah Weinswig, Managing Director, Retailing Team, Citi Investment Research and Analysis.“Retailers have been investing in optimization systems since the early 2000s and have realized significant top-line and margin benefits as a result of these investments. Retailers are now looking at the next generation of these technologies to build on their existing capabilities, including price, promotion, size and marketing optimization. Technology providers like SAS are at the forefront of this trend. We believe retailers are eager to implement the next generation of optimization systems given the strong track record of optimization technology on their P&L.”
  3. If the shoe fits, you must be shopping at DSW -- DSW, a U.S. specialty footwear chain is improving its inventory productivity by using store size profiles to allocate and replenish inventory. By licensing SAS® Size Optimization, DSW expects to see its in-stock position by size improve dramatically, and the retailer anticipates a similar uptick in customer loyalty.   “We believe that our investment in this solution will have a rapid payback,” said Harris Mustafa, DSW Executive Vice President Supply Chain, Planning and Allocation. “We will know what percentage of a certain style and color sells in a specific size. We’re confident that this will enable us to lower markdowns, increase customer satisfaction and improve profits.”
  4. DIY chain Leroy Merlin focuses on campaign management -- International home-improvement retailer Leroy Merlin will use SAS software to improve marketing campaign execution and management. “SAS will provide us greater knowledge and autonomy identifying of our best customers as well as executing and monitoring sales and marketing initiatives,” said Fabio Salvotti, Leroy Merlin CIO. “In particular, we will increase campaign redemption levels, active customer loyalty, and new customer recruitment.”
  5. Mexico retailer Liverpool connects with customers -- Using analytics, this Latin American department store chain will develop customer profiles to help better engage its customers with targeted promotions and credit offers. Liverpool has licensed SAS to discern who is buying what in its bricks and mortar stores. “Liverpool has about 3 million credit card users,” said Enrique Toussaint, Director of Market Intelligence, Liverpool. “We needed better intelligence to create buyer profiles that would reach different types of customers based on their buying behavior. SAS will help us identify which customers will respond to specific promotions well to targeted promotions, credit offers and events.”
If you're here in NYC, get more details when you visit SAS at the BIG Show in Booth 1352, or visit the SAS online newsroom.

About Author

Anne-Lindsay Beall

Senior Editor

Anne-Lindsay Beall is a writer and editor for SAS. Since joining the company in 2000, Anne-Lindsay has edited print publications, Web sites, customer success stories, blogs and digital publications. She has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master’s degree in English from North Carolina State University. You can find her on LinkedIn at:

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