Zak Stambor , Managing Editor
On-demand platform provides apparel retailer inventory visibility, freight spend management, Customs document automation and import performance analytics
Oakland, CA -- December 8, 2009 -- GT Nexus today announced that Charming Shoppes, Inc. (Nasdaq: CHRS) has renewed and expanded its commitment to using a GT Nexus Web-based data platform for its import management. Delivered via the software as a service (SaaS) model, the GT Nexus platform supports and automates a range of processes for the retailer, including item-level visibility, air and sea freight contracting, Customs documentation, and performance analytics.
Headquartered in Bensalem, PA, Charming Shoppes, Inc. is a leading multi-brand specialty apparel retailer specializing primarily in women`s plus-size apparel. Charming Shoppes is the parent company of three distinct store brands - Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug, and Catherines Plus Sizes; with Outlet stores under the Lane Bryant label. With more than 2,200 stores in 48 states and $2.5 billion in fiscal 2008 annual sales, the company is the third-largest women`s specialty apparel retailer in the United States, as measured by store units.
Laurie Everill, Director of International Trade, Logistics and Compliance at Charming Shoppes, Inc., commented, “For the past few years, we have relied on the GT Nexus system to provide the visibility and control necessary to manage our import operations. We have a great foundation in place which we plan to build out and leverage further across our operation, including expansion of capabilities into automated freight audit and actual landed cost calculation.”
“Charming Shoppes has import automation capabilities that most retailers dream about,” said Greg Johnsen, EVP and co-founder at GT Nexus. “Few companies can instantly locate the status of any item by size, color, or style like Charming can today. We look forward to continuing to help them with such capabilities.”
The platform includes an import data hub that captures and standardizes information about inventory and shipments, fed into the system electronically from other systems run by partners in the supply chain. The data is then used to populate a suite of Web applications that, in turn, automate key import processes as well as interface data with internal mainframe based systems. Capabilities of the Charming Shoppes’ platform include:
The entire platform is hosted and managed by GT Nexus. All GT Nexus customers share a single infrastructure and partner network. This allows new customers to get up and running quickly and cost effectively because they can tap into an existing, proven platform and avoid the high cost and time required to build a proprietary network from scratch.
Charming Shoppes is able to track inbound inventory broadly at the container level or according to details such as size, color, or style. Exception management and the capability to deliver proactive alerts if something does not go according to plan help minimize surprises and keep supply chain stakeholders informed. Visibility data is also repurposed and fed electronically to Charming’s Customs broker for entry documentation preparation.
The retailer also manages its global air and ocean freight spend on GT Nexus. The platform automates the bidding process and serves as the central contract rate repository. The future extension into freight audit will allow Charming Shoppes to match the actual contracted rate information with electronic freight bills to deliver a true comparison between the rates in the contract and what was executed.
Global business intelligence is the strategic component of the platform. Charming has the ability to access all of their actual import data and perform deep performance analytics. Reports can be generated “on the fly,” based on actual, real-time operational data. Performance can also be compared to historical data that is stored on the platform.
About GT Nexus
GT Nexus runs the world`s only industry-backed, on-demand global logistics portal. Today, more than 40,000 registered users, from over 15,000 organizations use a range of capabilities on the portal to control and optimize the flow of goods and information from order to delivery, worldwide. GT Nexus also is backed by several leading ocean carriers who transact over the portal with thousands of their importer, exporter and 3PL customers. For more about GT Nexus, visit www.gtnexus.com.
About Charming Shoppes
Charming Shoppes, Inc. operates 2,227 retail stores in 48 states under the names LANE BRYANT®, LANE BRYANT CACIQUE®, LANE BRYANT OUTLET®, FASHION BUG®, FASHION BUG PLUS®, CATHERINES PLUS SIZES®, and PETITE SOPHISTICATE OUTLET®. The Company also operates the Figi`s Gifts in Good Taste catalog, specializing in holiday fare, gift-giving convenience, and exclusive and personalized items. Please visit www.charmingshoppes.com for additional information about Charming Shoppes, Inc.