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Industry urged to plan for multichannel

By Retail Technology | Tuesday April 30 2013

Increased mobility and multichannel shopping raises the stakes in retail today, say top retail executives at TXT Thinking Retail! event

Over 120 delegates from 50 companies convened in London for the TXT Thinking Retail! event held in London recently. London's Savoy hotel hosted the third TXT global summit, which was organised in collaboration with Microsoft.
 
The value of integrated retail planning and product lifecycle management (PLM) in the era of multichannel and mobility provided the focus for the day's event. Guest speakers included Gartner, the Columbus Consulting Group, as well as some of the highest profile retailers and brands on a global scale: TXT customers Aeropostale, Desigual, Jacques Vert and Louis Vuitton Malletier.
 
Strategic retail insight
 
Marco Guida, TXT chief executive and Karen Laucka, Microsoft global alliance director, both provided insights into their current retail strategies. The pair said their eight-year partnership, where TXT is one of Microsoft's 65 global independent software vendor (ISV) partners, is marked by constant innovations in the fields of usability, visual, mobile and cloud-based solutions, including the launch at the conference of the TXTMobile platform. Guida announced that TXT’s PLM, buying, merchandise, assortment planning, as well as instore visibility capabilities, can now be made available on Windows 8 mobile devices.
 
Simone Pozzi, TXT vice president of sales and marketing, then addressed the delegates with an overview of the benefits that an integrated retail planning approach can bring in terms of improved service levels, customer centricity, as well as lower commercial risks – benefits that are particularly evident in cross-channel contexts. 
 
The Columbus Consulting Group’s Nancy Marino and Robert Hetu, research director at Gartner, delved deeper into the topic of cross-channel retailing. Hetu focused his presentation on the importance of understanding cross-channel behaviour as a key way to optimise assortments. He observed: “Retailers are rightly focused on optimising multichannel assortments to better serve customers. The theme for this year’s TXT retail event was timely for the audience, including case studies and demonstrations of TXT applications.”
 
Sharing best-practice planning 
 
Testimonials by Aeropostale, Desigual, Jacques Vert and Louis Vuitton Malletier also provided real examples of retail planning and PLM implementations, highlighting best practices, process methodologies and lessons learnt. Among the delegates, Mark Harrop, managing director of WhichPLM, commented: “I want to congratulate all speakers and the TXT team on yet another very positive "Thinking Retail" conference.”
 
The event closed with a live demonstration by the TXT team, showcasing the capabilities of the TXT application in supporting integrated planning – from design to store and the latest advances in the field of visual assortment and mobility. Parallel demonstrations on the value that cloud, mobile, and visual capabilities can bring to integrated planning processes were provided throughout the day at the TXT and Microsoft ‘Innovation hub’. 
 
Pozzi concluded: "We would like to thank our customers and partners for the high-quality content they shared and all attendees for making this event so very special. We are pleased with the level of participation, positive feedback and to see that our customers, with their great achievements, are recognised by the retail community as best-of-breed players in the retail planning and PLM space.”

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