Paul Demery , Managing Editor, B2B E-commerce
Planning and forecasting for Limited Too and Justice retail chains will be integrated and automated
CARY, N.C. (Sept. 7, 2005) – SAS, the leader in business intelligence, announced today that its Marketmax division will provide Too Inc. (NYSE: TOO) with retail software solutions for financial planning, in-season management, assortment planning, high performance forecasting, micromarketing and the SAS® Enterprise BI Server. Too Inc. is comprised of the Limited Too chain of more than 560 stores offering apparel, shoes, accessories, and lifestyle items to girls ages 7-14 and Justice, which is Too’s new specialty retail concept store focused on value-priced sportswear for ’tween girls. There are currently 67 Justice stores in 23 states.
Too Inc. has one of the most sophisticated business processes in the industry but it didn’t have the automated and integrated systems necessary to support it to the utmost potential. Marketmax will replace multiple legacy systems, old technology and silos with an integrated solution comprised of planning, forecasting and business intelligence applications. Now, planners, merchandisers and executives will be able to collaborate in the planning process to make more timely and proactive forecasting and merchandising decisions.
“The concept of what we are doing in merchandise planning will remain unchanged but will now be automated and optimized using Marketmax. Ad hoc analysis of customer demand and merchandise mix that used to take us hours will now take mere minutes,” said Susan Meeder, senior vice president of planning and allocation at Limited Too. “As we move away from homegrown systems, our planners, merchants and executives will rely on these Marketmax solutions from SAS to analyze our current business while using predictive forecasting to manage seasonality with greater accuracy.”
“We chose SAS for its scalability and focus on integration. The combined software solutions give us a foundation on which to grow. By incorporating SAS’ analytical expertise into our daily business processes, we will be able to swiftly recognize opportunity and quickly act on it,” said John Moore, CIO and senior vice president of Logistics at Too, Inc. “We evaluated many retail software vendors but SAS stood out from the rest with its combination of vision, retail industry expertise and powerful software. SAS’ forecasting and optimization software will take our business to the next level.”
Too Inc. will rely on Marketmax solutions from SAS, including:
• Marketmax® Assortment Planning will help Too Inc. ensure that its product mix is synchronized with its financial objectives. Marketmax will automate the process for Too, Inc. to determine the ideal breadth and depth of product based on its customers’ interests, location, demographics and buying trends.
• With Marketmax® Financial Planning, Too Inc. will set business goals based on stores’ past, present, and future demand. Financial goals will automatically be reflected in assortment plans. Too Brands Inc. will be able to perform both top-down and bottom-up planning and reconciliation at each level of the hierarchy to provide better Plan Management throughout the organization.
• Marketmax® Micromarketing will play a vital part in helping Too Inc. understand where its customers live, and how they shop. Marketmax Micromarketing will enable Too Inc to automatically group or cluster stores with similar attributes, resulting in a planning process that is more efficient and better tuned to various regions, season, buying trends, store size and customer demographics. This efficiency translates to a product mix that is synchronized with a specific store or consumer need.
• SAS® High-Performance Forecasting, built on the SAS®9 Intelligence Platform, will be integrated with the Marketmax solutions to provide Too Inc. with large-scale automated forecasting that will help significantly reduce forecasting error, increase operational efficiency and improve the bottom line. Too Inc will no longer be limited to manual forecasting and will be able to generate millions of forecasts quickly and efficiently. The automated sophistication of the solution may potentially uncover previously undetected trends and predict future fluctuations, creating ample opportunities to reduce costs and increase revenue.
• The SAS Enterprise BI Server is an enterprisewide business intelligence (BI) solution that includes both a suite of BI tools and an integrated BI architecture to provide fast, simple access to consistent data for more accurate decision making. Powerful SAS analytics deliver strategic new insights and a suite of targeted user interfaces empower users across the enterprise with self-service query and reporting capabilities.
All of these solutions use the SAS Enterprise Intelligence Platform as a foundation which can be extended and customized to create new BI applications that reflect unique business requirements and domain knowledge.
All of the results from the Marketmax and SAS solutions can be viewed via online Web based reports. Executives will also have access to a tailored dashboard. Too Inc. previously relied upon Excel spreadsheets and mainframe reports and if information needed to be combined it was akin to putting together a jigsaw puzzle. With Web-based analytic reporting, Too Inc. now has the ability to not only slice and dice retail merchandise planning but data across the whole enterprise from supply chain to finance.
ABOUT TOO, INC.
Too, Inc. is a leading specialty retailer for young girls. At Limited Too, the company sells sportswear, related accessories, footwear, lifestyle and personal care products for active, fashion-aware `tween (ages 7 to 14) girls. Limited Too currently operates 567 stores in 46 states and Puerto Rico, and has a select number of international franchised stores. Limited Too publishes a catalog coinciding with key `tween shopping times throughout the year and conducts e-commerce on its Web site, www.limitedtoo.com.
Justice is the company`s newest specialty retail concept for young girls, offering sportswear, key accessories and lifestyle items to value-conscious customers, predominantly in off the mall store locations. Justice currently operates 67 stores across the United States.
SAS is the market leader in providing a new generation of business intelligence software and services that create true enterprise intelligence. SAS solutions are used at about 40,000 sites – including 96 of the top 100 companies on the FORTUNE Global 500® – to develop more profitable relationships with customers and suppliers; to enable better, more accurate and informed decisions; and to drive organizations forward. SAS is the only vendor that completely integrates leading data warehousing, analytics and traditional BI applications to create intelligence from massive amounts of data. For nearly three decades, SAS has been giving customers around the world The Power to Know ®.
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