Retail TouchPoints Announces Lucky Brand as Winner of 2019 Retail Innovator Award

We are thrilled to share the announcement of Lucky Brand as a winner for the 2019 Retail Innovator Award because of their work with Celect to optimize inventory decision-making! Retail TouchPoints (RTP), the industry's go-to source for the latest retail trends, strategies and technology innovation, has announced the 2019 Retail Innovator Award winners and names Mike Relich, Chief Operating Officer at Lucky Brand, and Miles Barger, Vice President of Merchandise Planning, Allocation, and Inventory Optimization at Lucky Brand, as winners in the category of Data Guru.

In its sixth year, the Retail Innovator Awards honor retail executives and thought leaders who: 

“[T]hink outside the box to develop and foster innovative concepts and strategies that help move the overall retail industry forward.” 

There were 100 nominations in total and the list of 18 winners was announced at today’s Retail Innovation Conference in New York City. Those who attended the event heard directly from Miles Barger, who shared Lucky Brand’s success story on using advanced analytics to optimize allocation and store fulfillment using Celect.

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Topics: allocation, artificial intelligence, inventory optimization, brick-and-mortar retail, physical stores, machine learning, fulfillment optimization, advanced analytics, awards

Lucky Brand's Approach to Successful Merchandise Allocation

The idea behind inventory allocation seems pretty straight-forward: Ensure stores are kept in stock with respect to their ability to sell merchandise. Simple enough, right? Yet, as an allocator, one end-of-season scenario you’re likely familiar with is the aching realization of a missed opportunity — where better inventory allocations in one store could have led to more transactions, fewer markdowns, and improved margins.

Of course, you and I both know the subtle art to successful allocation is far from simple. In fact, a recent U.S. retailer survey estimated inventory misjudgments, including misallocating inventory, account for more than half (53%) of unplanned markdown costs. This issue has prompted retailers, like Lucky Brand, to search for ways to infuse intelligence into their allocation systems and processes.

Mike Relich, COO of Lucky Brand, recently shared his experience leveraging Celect artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) software to successfully improve retail allocation results. 

Here are the five biggest takeaways:

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Topics: allocation, artificial intelligence, inventory optimization, brick-and-mortar retail, physical stores, machine learning, merchandise assortment

The Subtle Art (and Science) to Successful Retail Allocation

Knowing how and where to allocate products to the right stores can make or break a retailer. We live in a consumer-centered world. For better or worse, thanks to companies like Amazon, customer delivery expectations have changed so that they expect to get what they want and when they want it at the single click of a button. Often, this product can arrive on their doorstep the very next day.

Not wanting to be left in the dust, many brick-and-mortar stores are utilizing tools enhanced with artificial intelligence to master the subtle art of retail allocation. In today’s retail landscape, companies who do not utilize advanced analytics to allocate their products will be left behind or even fail completely. 

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Topics: data overload, allocation, artificial intelligence, inventory optimization, ecommerce, brick-and-mortar retail, data, cross-channel demand, advanced analytics, technology adoption, customer preference, accuracy, demand prediction, markdowns

The Biggest Takeaway from NRF 2019? Optimize Everything.

The word “optimize” was littered across the expo floor at NRF 2019.

From shelf space to e-commerce basket sizes to your in-store workforce – every process across the retail value chain seems to be begging for optimization. “Frictionless,” “efficient,” and “seamless” were the all-encompassing descriptors used to entice interest and engagement among attendees perusing the aisles for technology solutions, ideas, or (let’s be real) free giveaway swag. 

The need for optimization is unequivocal as retail organizations are tasked with executing costly decisions on a daily basis at a tremendous scale. Yet how to approach this problem is less than certain when there are numerous opportunities to improve decisions at each stage of the retail process. Whether your current struggle hinges on production, inventory, store operations, or last mile fulfillment — whatever the challenge may be — the technology available today will enable retailers to glean insights into the mountainous amount of data they have. 

Based on our observations at the big show in NYC, it’s apparent retailers must prioritize investments in tools like artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced analytics to make the optimal decisions to meet the ever-evolving needs of their customers.

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Topics: allocation, retail technology, retail trends, artificial intelligence, inventory optimization, brick-and-mortar retail, fulfillment optimization, advanced analytics, demand prediction, NRF2019

3 Practical Reasons Retailers Should Adopt AI in 2019

In the world of retail, the goal is simple: sell product. 

However, reaching that goal is a completely different story. When you throw competition, customer expectations, stores, inventory, logistics, and fulfillment into the mix, things reach a whole new level of complexity. The challenge is really two-fold:

  1. ) First, demand is seemingly unpredictable, with a multitude of factors influencing a consumer’s desire to want to buy something. 
  2. ) Secondly, there’s the issue of optimization – how can retailers leverage their inventory more productively? 

Overcoming these challenges requires retailers to better predict demand and optimize their inventory decisions more effectively to ultimately maximize every opportunity for a sale. Artificial intelligence and advanced analytics technologies are growing to be the tools of choice for retailers when it comes to optimizing inventories as customer expectations force retailers to invest heavily in digital capabilities.

Many retailers, according to Gartner, are “simply not optimizing their most significant assets.” What asset is more important than a retailer’s inventory? Here are three reasons retailers should adopt AI for inventory optimization in 2019:

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Topics: allocation, merchandise planning, inventory, e-commerce, artificial intelligence, brick-and-mortar retail, data, advanced analytics, order fulfillment, demand prediction, markdowns

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