Part Three: Q&A with Aéropostale’s SVP of Planning & Allocation on AI

"AI, which is forecast to grow to $36.8 billion by 2025, could bring a new way of transformation to retail." - Deborah Weinswig, CEO of Coresight Research   

Everyday you make really difficult inventory decisions. 

The impact of AI on retail is clearly a major topic of discussion for many merchandisers on the hunt for new tech to help make their job of managing inventory and forecasting demand better, faster and much more accurate than ever before. 

At the end of the day, your goals revolve around improving revenue — and yet, so much of it is tied up in unsold product, inefficient processes, or bad merchandising decisions. 

If a technology existed with the sole purpose of helping you meet these goals, why wouldn't you use it? Many retailers are in a dire position because of this failure to adapt and evolve with the tools available to meet the customer-centric demand driving the market today.

And, at the moment, machine learning and advanced analytics are the tools making it possible to do just that. Retailers like Aéropostale are taking steps to make better investments in the right products with their customer in mind by incorporating advanced analytics into their merchandising process.

Check out what Karen Walter, Aéropostale's SVP of Planning & Allocation, has to say in our latest webcast Q&A (transcript below!) about how and why her team adopted analytics in today's retail environment.

(Also, feel free to access Part 1 and Part 2 of the Q&A transcript for more insights from Aéro!)

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Topics: allocation, predictive analytics, merchandise planning, inventory optimization, data, advanced analytics

Part One: Q&A with Aéropostale’s SVP of Planning & Allocation

"The customer is dictating the way they want to shop and what their new level of service is—we just all need to catch up to them.” Karen Walter, SVP of Planning & Allocation at Aéropostale 

Retailers have more data than ever before.

However, introducing new technology to leverage data more effectively throughout the merchandising process is a daunting—yet critical task.

In our latest webcast, we had the opportunity to sit down with Aéropostale’s SVP of Planning and AllocationKaren Walter, who shed some light on:

  • Why and how Aéropostale adopted advanced analytics in today’s retail environment
  • A new approach to the Merchandise, Planning, and Allocation process
  • How new technologies are blended with existing business process

Check out the the first part of the Q&A transcript below, where Karen shares her experience and thoughts on how the Planning & Allocation side of the business (and retail overall!) has evolved, as well as some of her biggest influencers throughout her career.

You can (of course) access the full video interview here

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Topics: allocation, predictive analytics, merchandise planning, inventory optimization, data, advanced analytics

3 Things Everyone Should Know About Product Assortment

We have been making choices and comparing products since before we knew we were actually doing it. Our brains are wired to compare. It’s unavoidable and necessary. The real question to ask is “how” do we make these comparisons? When we see various products lined up on a shelf, across brands, with different ingredients, features, and prices - how do we know what we want? Even better, how can retailers know what we want, and create a more optimized product assortment to reflect this?

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Topics: allocation, decisions, assortment optimization

It’s OK to Trust Your Gut... Right?

I “go with my gut” on a lot of things. This is especially true when I don’t have the right information to back up a confident decision. Most of us are wired so that we rely on our instinct, yet balance it with tangible information (data) where possible. In these situations, our minds are aligned with our gut, usually resulting in better overall decisions. But what if there is an imbalance?

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Topics: data overload, allocation, decisions

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