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SAS® Intelligent Clustering for Retail maximises sales, margins and inventory productivity

NRF 98th Annual Convention and EXPO, NEW YORK (12th January, 2009) – Now more than ever, retailers hoping to thrive must become more customer-centric by delivering an assortment of merchandise that reflects local customer demand. The most efficient way to achieve that goal is to plan unique assortments for store clusters. Clusters are groups of stores that share similar characteristics like store format, customer demographics, and store performance rankings. Accurately and efficiently identifying significant store clusters that could benefit from unique assortments requires sophisticated analytics like those found in SAS® Intelligent Clustering for Retail, a new product from SAS, the leader in business analytics.

Integrated with SAS® Merchandise Assortment Planning, the new software automates the identification and profiling of store clusters that warrant tailored assortments. This makes it easier for retailers to migrate from traditional store segmentation practices that rely on sales volume and climate similarities, to the use of advanced, demand-based store clustering that is required for tailored local-market assortments. SAS Intelligent Clustering for Retail also improves assortment accuracy by allowing retailers to move from a single set of store clusters to the use of unique cluster sets for each product category.

The benefits from improved tailored local market assortments include:

• Increased revenue and margin from assortments that better meet local customer demand.

• Improved inventory productivity from reduced distributions of low-demand products.

• Heightened merchandising team awareness of previously hidden strategic business drivers such as customer demographics and product preferences.

• Enhanced planning efficiency from the use of predefined and automated software routines combined with seamless integration with SAS Merchandise Assortment Planning software.

Designed for bricks-and-mortar store buyers and planners that sell any type of merchandise -- from apparel to groceries -- SAS Intelligent Clustering for Retail is available now in conjunction with SAS Merchandise Assortment Planning.

SAS retail customers include AutoZone, Bakers Footwear, Brooks Brothers, Burger King, Cabela’s, Carrefour, Casino, Casual Male, The Children’s Place, Eddie Bauer, Hallmark, Hudson’s Bay Company, JCPenney, Kohl’s, Luxottica Retail, Macy’s, Mark’s Work Wearhouse, Marks & Spencer, Northern Tool & Equipment, Office Depot, Sainsbury’s, ShopKo, Spiegel Brands, Sport Chalet, Staples, Tesco, Tween Brands, Williams-Sonoma and 1-800-FLOWERS.COM.