TORONTO, May 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Simons, one of the most iconic Canadian fashion retailers, continues to demonstrate leadership & innovation in retail merchandising by partnering with retail AI and Predictive Analytics firm, Retalon.
As Simons grew across Canada opening as large as 110,000+ sq. ft stores across several provinces and expanded e-commerce into the US market, they needed a more accurate, efficient, and scalable way to maintain optimal assortment levels. They searched for a smart approach that would allow them to minimize inventory cost while maintaining customer service excellence and that would keep up with their growth.
The company turned to Retalon to accurately forecast demand, generate shipments, allocate products, calculate replenishment, and optimize promotions using predictive analytics and AI.
Simons CEO, Peter Simons, is the 5th generation of the family to run the business founded in Quebec City in 1840. "Today, in the 21st century, we are moving to a much more granular approach to looking at data, and that's where Retalon comes in for me. In this era where the customers talk to you through that data, to be able to really hear not only when they're shouting things but also just whispering very quietly, Retalon helps us move through that data more gradually and make better decisions."
The fashion retailer turns over 250,000 style/colors a year and offers a wide range of sizes with much of its assortment having shorter lifecycles. Forecasting demand down to a single product for every store and DC was challenging considering factors like seasonality, fulfillment methods, pricing, lead times, and much more.
The geographical expansion also required a more accurate, sustainable, scalable approach. Simons' flagship locations span over 4500 km (2800 mi). Simons needed to optimize inventory and fulfillment with a minimal impact on cost, customer experience, and the environment.
Prior to Retalon it was the buyers that managed inventory, promotions, and transfers at stores, the new approach enabled them to automate and reduce time buyers spent on this process.
Simons implemented Retalon's analytics for improved insight on projected demand and inventory optimization recommendations that get the right product to the right store proactively. Retalon also optimizes thousands of promotions a year for Simons, accurately predicting uplifts and optimizing inventory proactively.
The retailer also uses Retalon's forecast to account for warehouse labor demand to better schedule labor during crucial seasonal peaks like Black Friday in order to execute hundreds of thousands of picks efficiently.
"We were looking for a company that would not just give us a black box that we would get an answer out of and always question it," said Gary Craig, VP, Informational Technology at Simons, "What we found is that we're able to work directly with the Retalon team, we get right to point, and solve problems quickly."
Retalon is working with major retailers across North America, Europe and the Caribbean and has pioneered predictive analytics and AI technology since 2002. Retalon is the first retail AI platform to offer end-to-end solutions for forecasting, merchandise planning, inventory optimization, price management, promotions, and markdowns.
"Partnering with the Simons team goes far beyond collaboration between two organisations," said Retalon CEO, Mark Krupnik, "We are proud of the solution we have built for retailers, and it is an amazing feeling when you work with people who understand it, take full advantage of what our analytics can offer, and have vision for the next big thing retailers need, that helps us to align our development goals."
Simons (La Maison Simons) was founded by John Simons in 1840 as a dry goods store in Old Quebec that imported products from England and Scotland. By 1952, Simons modernized and became a specialty retailer, quickly establishing itself as Quebec's fashion leader. More than 176 years later, Simons is still driven by the goal of reaching new levels of retail excellence. The company continues to grow and evolve bringing quality and trendy products to Canada in their large format fashion stores.
Retalon is an award-winning provider of advanced retail predictive analytics and AI solutions for planning, inventory management, merchandising, pricing, and promotions. From inception Retalon solutions were built on one unified analytics platform offering higher accuracy and the ability to optimize unique and complex retail supply chain processes.