August 12, 2003, 12:00 AM

How St. Croix Shops gets better margins from web-enabled POS system

Croix Retail Inc.’s St. Croix Shops are squeezing more profits out of slack product sales, thanks to a web-enabled POS system that supports better inventory control and cross-selling opportunities.

Croix Retail Inc.’s St. Croix Shops are squeezing more profits out of slack product sales, thanks to a web-enabled POS system that supports better inventory control and cross-selling opportunities, Dennis Meyer, director of information technology, tells Internet Retailer. “Retail is flat now, but our new POS system has made us more profitable,” he says. “It’s resulted in better margins because of better inventory control, more visibility in moving products from shop to shop, and the ability to keep customer information in front of our store clerks so they can suggest additional products.”

St. Croix’s web-enabled Retail Pro system from Retail Technologies Inc. is set up to constantly update POS and inventory data from the chain’s 15 stores located across the U.S. – an option supported by the availability of a high-bandwidth Internet connection that avoids the frustrations of dial up and the costs of running data over a private network telephone line.

The system also helps headquarters better manage the supply of goods throughout its chain. “We may see that what’s selling really well in the Southwest is not selling in the Northeast, so it gives management the insight to put products where customers will buy them,” Meyer says. As St. Croix managers analyze the sales activity by product at each store, he adds, they can use a logistics module in the same Retail Pro system to set up transfers and deliveries of inventory to the stores that need it. And that means fewer markdown prices, as products sell at higher prices to the customers showing the highest demand for them.

The Retail Pro system is also designed to display a customer’s personal information, including shopping preferences, once a card is swiped or a cashier enters other information such as a name or phone number. “There will be a summary of that customer on the screen, and we’ll make suggestions for other products she’s shown an interest in, or remind her that she’s purchased trousers and had them altered by us,” Meyer says. St. Croix Shops have increased their amount of cross-selling and up-selling of products, he says, leading to more products sold to motivated buyers at their original prices, instead of later at discount.

 

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