Innovative Retail Technologies

MAY-JUN 2017

Innovative Retail Technologies (formerly Integrated Solutions For Retailers) is the premier source for innovative yet pragmatic technology solutions in the retail industry.

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A look at how the 60-store specialty retail chain took control of its diverse merchandise mix and overcame the ups and downs of seasonality. W hen Bob Anderson opened a newspaper shop in Maynard, MA, back in 1964, odds were slim he envisioned what the shop, appropriately called The Paper Store, would look like today. Fifty-three years and 59 stores later, The Paper Store has evolved into a unique specialty chain with a diverse assortment that includes gifts, greeting cards and custom station- ary, fashion and fashion accessories, bath and body care, baby apparel, home décor, toys and games, gourmet foods, Planning Proficiency At The Paper Store Within just two years of launching its predictive analytics platform, The Paper Store was able to increase its store count by 20 while realizing 30 percent growth. books, and more. It's still run by the Anderson family. Growth Creates Supply Chain Challenges While The Paper Store's incredibly diverse assortment is a key ingredient of its success, managing the procurement and allocation of such a diverse SKU base across 60 stores — while simultane- ously nurturing a growing e-commerce site and planning for the expansion of its store count — became cumbersome BY MATT PILLAR May-June 2017 12 Proven Innovations for its legacy systems. The company was manually reviewing almost every SKU/ store combination for DC replenish- ment and purchasing order quantities. To maintain its in-store customer service goals and expand fulfillment options for its growing base of e-commerce fans, the retailer needed to reengineer its processes and adopt some new technol- ogy. A cross-disciplinary executive-level team comprised of CEO Tom Anderson, VP of Operations Craig Hewitt, VP of Plan- ning Linda Thatcher, and VP of IT Brian

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