May 16, 2003, 12:00 AM

How will get better merchandising forecasts, margins

Its new PLANalyst tool is designed to help Blue Nile`s merchandise managers quickly decide what to buy and how much and when to display.

Blue Nile Inc.`s, a pureplay retailer of diamonds and other fine jewelry, is deploying a merchandising system designed to better forecast demand for its products and plan more profitable merchandise displays. "We needed a strong merchandise planning solution that would enable us to better anticipate demand to manage and drive the company`s rapid growth moving forward," said CTO Darrell Cavens.


Blue Nile will implement the PLANalyst merchandise forecasting and planning tool from GERS Retail Systems. The system will enable Blue Nile to dynamically forecast, create, analyze and manage merchandise plans and product assortments to decrease costs of holding and displaying the wrong inventory and improve profit margins, according to GERS.


The PLANalyst system is designed to synchronize merchandise planning and forecasting as well as other functions to help source and manage merchandise. Its "open-to-buy" feature, for instance, enables merchandise buyers to view on a graphical screen both cash flow and inventory flow to support quick decisions on acquiring and displaying merchandise. "PLANalyst will bring us a sense of predictability to our planning process and speed our reaction to changing markets," Cavens says.



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