July 23, 2001, 12:00 AM

Payless Shoes rolls out inventory search system in stores

Payless ShoeSource has put its 40 million item inventory into a searchable database so store sales personnel can quickly locate out-of-stock items for customers.

Payless ShoeSource Inc. of Topeka, KS, is launching an inventory search function in all 4,900 Payless shoe stores nationwide to help store personnel find shoes not available in in-store inventory.

When a shoe a customer wants is not available in the store, Payless sales personnel will be able to access Payless’s 40 million item inventory and find the product at the store, in transit to a store, at neighboring Payless stores. Eventually it will be able to search Payless`s web site, http://www.payless.com. The company said it expects the new service to further boost customer satisfaction and loyalty.

The Shoe Finder system first double-checks the in-store stock. The system then checks any on-site shipments. If the Shoe Finder system finds the product is among a store`s recent shipments, it will indicate the exact shipping carton so the sales associate can open the carton and locate the product.

The Shoe Finder system also can search neighboring stores` inventory for the item. If the item is at a neighboring store, the sales associate places the item on hold and gives the customer a $1-off coupon to use on his or her purchase. Finally, the item can be found at payless.com, Payless` online store, where it can be shipped to the store for free or to the customer`s home at the customer`s expense.

The company says that during market tests, 80% of customers made the purchase at the neighboring store or online when the item was located with Shoe Finder.

The new service will soon be available at stores in Canada.

 

 

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