Wednesday Dec 17, 2014

Weather The Storm: Data and Insight for Successful Fashion Planning

As changing weather continues to play havoc with expected retail forecasts, it becomes clear that retailers need science and analytics, flexibility and dynamic management of information in order to understand the wants and behaviour of their customers.

The 2014 Forrester Wave report on Retail Planning Solutions states that “the number of new product introductions and line extensions of promotional variants continues to grow at a furious pace, with apparel brands like Zara managing 22 collections each year rather than the more leisurely four seasons of yesterday’s couturiers.”

Meeting this challenge is the key to success amid the rapid turnover of collections in fashion retailers’ product lines - accurate forecasting and assortment decisions as well as making the right in-season adjustments are critical. Why? 92% of consumers polled in our 2014 research ‘The New Retail Democracy’ indicated they will simply not wait for the desired products to come into stock.

Retailers need to make it a priority to understand and track demand origination via all touchpoints: store, online, social, mobile, kiosk, and catalogue. Especially social and mobile channels are driving the ever increasing pace of changing trends, and are incredibly valuable channels to gain insight from. Most merchants however do not possess the tools to gather and make sense of these huge quantities of data.

We can help. Watch out for what's new in Oracle Retail Planning solutions with our upcoming V14.1 release, announced at the NRF BIG Show 2015 in New York.

Wednesday Feb 19, 2014

ORIF Europe 2013 Presentation Video: John Elliott, Wm Morrisons

John Elliott, Head of Applications & Development at UK supermarket chain Wm Morrisons, presented ‘Forecast-Led Retailing: Becoming A 'One Number' Business’ at the Oracle Retail Industry Forum 2013. Elliott discussed Morrisons’ journey with Oracle Retail, and the company’s goal of becoming a ‘One Number’ business.

Wm Morrisons is the fourth largest supermarket in the UK, with revenues of over £18 billion. The company utilises Oracle Retail Demand Forecasting and Oracle Retail Advanced Inventory Planning to provide it with a single view over all inventory planning and forecasting. This has led to wide ranging benefits across stores, supply chain, logistics, suppliers and commercially. Furthermore customers have experienced reduced costs, better product availability and fresher produce to purchase.

Monday Feb 17, 2014

New Video Case Study: METRO GROUP – Planning Solutions for a Russian Cash and Carry Business

METRO GROUP is a German based retail organisation, working across 180 countries around the world, through 2,200 outlets and employing 265,000 people. Brands include METRO Cash & Carry and MAKRO, the world's market leader in cash & carry, Media Markt and Saturn, Europe' s leader in consumer electronic retailing, Real hypermarkets and Galeria Kaufhof, the system leader in the department store business.

When METRO GROUP needed a new planning solution to improve non-food operations and make the business more customer driven, they selected Oracle Retail to support operations in Russia, where METRO Cash & Carry has seen huge growth.

In this video, Mark Stutzer, Head of Process Management - Merchandising at Metro Systems, discusses how Oracle Retail has supported the retailer in offering Commerce Anywhere omni-channel retailing and how Oracle will support the business as it continues to grow.

Monday Jul 15, 2013

UK’s River Island Selects Oracle Retail Planning

River Island, a leading UK-based fashion retailer, has selected Oracle Retail Planning and Optimization solutions to support its strategy for Commerce Anywhere and international expansion.

River Island will use Oracle Retail Merchandise Financial Planning, Oracle Retail Assortment Planning and Oracle Retail Item Planning to establish more consistent and accurate planning processes that manage its current and future planning and life-cycle requirements.

River Island, which has a global portfolio of over 300 stores with multiple web, franchise and wholesale operations wanted to improve planning across all channels to better support its growing business.

By capitalizing on Commerce Anywhere and cross-organizational collaboration capabilities, River Island expects to better understand merchandise performance throughout the business, using this insight to drive more profitable inventory investment decisions and improve the customer experience.

With a consolidated view of planning, River Island can reconcile all merchandise, financial, item and assortment plans to business targets, improve accuracy and optimize in-season inventory, sales and margin performance, including exception management.

River Island has recognised Oracle Retail solutions as being highly flexible and scalable, and as built on deep fashion retail expertise. Oracle Retail solutions support the needs of River Island’s growing Commerce Anywhere international fashion retail business across its various operational models.

The press release announcing this news can be found on the Oracle website.

Tuesday Jan 15, 2013

Oracle Retail Exchange: Daily Review of Activities on Tuesday, 15th January

The Oracle Retail Exchange (REX) began early this morning with a unique store experience at the UGG Australia store at 600 Madison Avenue, New York, part of the Deckers Outdoor business. Delegates heard about the journey Deckers is taking to develop a globally consistent consumer-direct operating model that unifies the customer experience across all touch points, streamlines operations, drives sales and improves profitability. The group learnt how Deckers is using Oracle Retail Point-of-Service, in addition to Oracle Retail Merchandise Operations Management and Oracle Retail Merchandise Planning and Optimization.

The second morning of Customer Showcases started with Dimitrios Bairaktaris, General Manager Merchandise and Logistics at Coles, who presented on the Easy Ordering project undertaken to achieve operational efficiencies across Coles' 741 stores across Australia. The implementation of Oracle Retail solutions, which completed last year, has optimised replenishment processes and improved inventory management and availability to deliver more strategic and tactical decisions across the business. Bairaktaris also divulged how Coles has recently leveraged upgrades of Oracle Retail Demand Forecasting and Advanced Inventory Planning, as well as the use of Oracle Exadata to improve analytics and identify further operational efficiencies for the business.

The next Oracle and Customer Showcase session focused on the changing role of Oracle Retail Consulting (OCS) in supporting customer deployments in EMEA, with a focus on the grocery retailer Ahold. Jeremy Spencer, Regional Vice President Consulting, Oracle Retail EMEA led the session, with support from Mario Torres, Head of Delivery, Oracle Retail EMEA Consulting; Andre Weigandt, CEO and Founder, Weigandt Consulting.

The presentation covered the range of service offers provided by Oracle Retail and, with reference to Delivery Ownership engagements, how OCS works with partners, such as Weigandt Consulting, to provide a cost-effective deployment approach combining the strengths of Oracle and the SI community. Marion Marees, Program Manager Retailbox Core, Senior Business Consultant, Ahold IM Europe provided her insight into how OCS has worked with Ahold in Europe to support the design of Ahold’s iBox transformation programme, which recently implemented Oracle Retail Merchandise Operations Management and Oracle Retail Store Solutions.

A Grocery roundtable enabled our grocery customers and prospects, including Morrisons, Panda and Konzum, to convene for animated discussion on the issues facing one of the most competitive retail sectors and where opportunities for growth and differentiation can be found.

After spending time at the NRF Big Show, or participating in one of several store tour programmes to see further examples of best practice retailing around New York, attendees are now set to come together for an exclusive event at the American Museum of Natural History, where Mike Webster, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Oracle Retail, will introduce new research entitled “The Evolution of Experience Retailing”.

See the press release for more details on this global research which examines the views of consumers on the global marketplace and what this means in terms of meeting their needs, to help retailers to define their strategies and key business imperatives and enable them to compete more effectively.

Access the research now and understand the results gathered. You can download a range of resources including a comprehensive whitepaper.

Monday Apr 02, 2012

Chinese footwear retailer Daphne on choosing Oracle Retail solutions

In January, leading Chinese footwear brand Daphne announced that they had chosen Oracle Retail as a solution provider for its expansion strategy.

We were delighted to host Michael Hu, Chief Operations Officer of Daphne, at our exclusive Retail Exchange event in New York in January. We interviewed Michael about Daphne, Daphne's plans for the future and how Oracle's solutions will play a role in that future.

The video is below. We are very grateful to Michael for taking the time to speak to us. To find out more about how Daphne is using Oracle, see the full press release HERE.

To find out more about Oracle Retail solutions and how Oracle Retail can help your business, visit

Thursday Mar 29, 2012

Kamal Osman Jamjoom on deploying Oracle Retail solutions

Kamal Osman Jamjoom Group (KOJ) is one of the most established retail groups in the Middle East operating over 500 stores, six franchise brands and two highly successful private labels. KOJ’s Chief Financial Officer and Group Financial Director, Richard Winsor, recently presented at the Oracle Retail Industry Day in Dubai and took some time to share with us his experiences of implementing and using Oracle Retail.

Having first gone live with Oracle Retail in March 2008, KOJ has used, upgraded and added to their Oracle Retail foundation, most recently deploying Oracle Retail Planning applications. The business has seen strong benefits around consistency of data, low integration costs and scalability, particularly in supporting its rapid expansion programme around the region.

Take a look at Richard’s advice for retailers looking to deploy Oracle Retail and how they can benefit from the KOJ implementation programme.

Tuesday Nov 29, 2011

Is there a low carbon future for the retail industry?

Recently Oracle published a report in conjunction with The Future Laboratory and a global panel of experts to highlight the issue of energy use in modern industry and the serious need to reduce carbon emissions radically by 2050.  Emissions must be cut by 80-95% below the levels in 1990 – but what can the retail industry do to keep up with this?

There are three key aspects to the retail industry where carbon emissions can be cut:  manufacturing, transport and IT. 


Naturally, manufacturing is going to be a big area where businesses across all industries will be forced to make considerable savings in carbon emissions as well as other forms of pollution.  Many retailers of all sizes will use third party factories and will have little control over specific environmental impacts from the factory, but retailers can reduce environmental impact at the factories by managing orders more efficiently – better planning for stock requirements means economies of scale both in terms of finance and the environment. The John Lewis Partnership has made detailed commitments to reducing manufacturing and packaging waste on both its own-brand products and products it sources from third party suppliers. It aims to divert 95 percent of its operational waste from landfill by 2013, which is a huge logistics challenge.  The John Lewis Partnership’s website provides a large amount of information on its responsibilities towards the environment.


Similarly to manufacturing, tightening up on logistical planning for stock distribution will make savings on carbon emissions from haulage.  More accurate supply and demand analysis will mean less stock re-allocation after initial distribution, and better warehouse management will mean more efficient stock distribution.  UK grocery retailer Morrisons has introduced double-decked trailers to its haulage fleet and adjusted distribution logistics accordingly to reduce the number of kilometers travelled by the fleet.  Morrisons measures route planning efficiency in terms of cases moved per kilometre and has, over the last two years, increased the number of cases per kilometre by 12.7%.  See Morrisons Corporate Responsibility report for more information.


IT infrastructure is often initially overlooked by businesses when considering environmental efficiency.  Datacentres and web servers often need to run 24/7 to handle both consumer orders and internal logistics, and this both requires a lot of energy and puts out a lot of heat.  Many businesses are lowering environmental impact by reducing IT system fragmentation in their offices, while an increasing number of businesses are outsourcing their datacenters to cloud-based services.  Using centralised datacenters reduces the power usage at smaller offices, while using cloud based services means the datacenters can be based in a more environmentally friendly location.  For example, Facebook is opening a massive datacentre in Sweden – close to the Arctic Circle – to reduce the need for artificial cooling methods.  In addition, moving to a cloud-based solution makes IT services more easily scaleable, reducing redundant IT systems that would still use energy. 

In store, the UK’s Carbon Trust reports that on average, lighting accounts for 25% of a retailer’s electricity costs, and for grocery retailers, up to 50% of their electricity bill comes from refrigeration units. 

On a smaller scale, retailers can invest in greener technologies in store and in their offices.  The report concludes that widely shared objectives of energy security, reduced emissions and continued economic growth are dependent on the development of a smart grid capable of delivering energy efficiency and demand response, as well as integrating renewable and variable sources of energy.

The report is available to download from

I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the report.   

Wednesday Jul 13, 2011

The Oracle Retail CrossTalk Experience

On June 24-26, Oracle hosted over 200 executive attendees from 95 retail organisations at Oracle Retail CrossTalk in Washington DC, bringing together Oracle’s retail customers, partners and other retail organisations to share insights into improving the performance of their organisations. This year’s event was a truly global experience with retailers China, Australia, the Middle East, South Africa, Europe, Latin America and the US gathered to hear an agenda packed with keynotes, breakout sessions, and discussion groups, supported by Oracle product roadmap and strategy sessions.

Presentation at CrossTalk 2011

What makes CrossTalk so valuable for those attending is that the agenda is led by retailers. We saw 35 customer speakers discuss their businesses, detailing challenges faced and how they have engineered their businesses for success using Oracle. From electrical giant Best Buy, to the UK’s fourth largest grocer Morrisons, to China’s fastest growing pharmacy chain SinoPharm Pharmacy, to Canada’s largest womenswear brand Reitmans, each speaker shared valuable knowledge and best practice on strategy, benefits and implementation strategies to help the audience understand how to better leverage their investments in Oracle solutions.

The key themes that came through in many of the presentations explored the different ways in which organisations are placing the customer experience at the heart of their businesses and the importance of technology in helping retailers to develop, plan and execute strategies that meet expectations and drive experiences unconstrained by channel limitations.

Retailers take many different approaches to growing their businesses – SinoPharm discussed their acquisition strategy; Euroset communicated their pricing strategy; Dinosol spoke of reinventing their supply chain; Belk shared top-down strategy to transforming the entire business – but ultimately, each retailer shares the same goal - delivering an experience to their customers to drive business across their channels and influence loyalty.

It became clear in the presentations, that by working to align their operations and integrating previously siloed functions, retailers can transcend individual channels into a more connected experience that meets expectations and needs.

I shall be looking to explore these themes in more detail over the next few months within this blog and also at the Oracle Retail Customer Forum in Berlin on October 4-5, where delving into the customer experience theme, and exploring with European retailers how they can gain actionable insight, optimise their operations and  connect all their customer interactions to create a connected customer experience. For more information on the Oracle Retail Industry Forum, please click here.

Wednesday Feb 23, 2011

Andrea Morgan on the customer's expectations for a 'new brand experience'

In the video below Andrea Morgan, Vice President of Strategy at Oracle Retail, talks about the customer's expectations for a 'new brand experience'.  This video was recorded at the Oracle Retail Exchange event at the NRF Big Show in New York.   


Tuesday Feb 22, 2011

Andrea Morgan on supply chain synchronisation

In the video below Andrea Morgan, Vice President of Strategy at Oracle Retail, talks about supply chain synchronisation.  This video was recorded at the Oracle Retail Exchange event at the NRF Big Show in New York.   


Monday Feb 21, 2011

Andrea Morgan on Multichannel retail incorporating mobile technology

In the video below Andrea Morgan, Vice President of Strategy at Oracle Retail, talks about multichannel retail incorporating mobile technology.  This video was recorded at the Oracle Retail Exchange event at the NRF Big Show in New York.   


Friday Feb 18, 2011

Andrea Morgan on Social Media Merchandising

In the video below Andrea Morgan, Vice President of Strategy at Oracle Retail, talks about Social Media Merchandising.  This video was recorded at the Oracle Retail Exchange event at the NRF Big Show in New York.   


Thursday Feb 17, 2011

Andrea Morgan on the Big Data Era for Retail

In the video below Andrea Morgan, Vice President of Strategy at Oracle Retail, talks about the 'Big Data' era for the retail industry.  This video was recorded at the Oracle Retail Exchange event at the NRF Big Show in New York.   



Everything Retail.

Principal contributors:

Sarah Taylor, Senior Industry Director, Oracle Retail.

Marie-Christin Hansen, Senior Industry Campaigns Manager, Oracle Retail.

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Oracle Retail Microsite


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