INDUSTRY: RETAIL MERCHANDISING
Neubrain’s retail merchandising and analytics solution helped Fred’s Super Dollar to allocate target quantities to stores maximizing inventory Return on Investment (ROI), allowing deeper analysis of trends and patterns; and clear foresight for planning and allocating inventory.

CHALLENGES

Tracing its history back to an original store in Coldwater, Mississippi, opened in 1947, Fred's Super Dollar, headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, operates over 700 discount general merchandise stores, including 24 franchised retail stores, mainly across the southeastern states.

With a unique store format and strategy that combines the best elements of a discount dollar store, drug store and mass merchant, Fred's stores stock more than 12,000 frequently purchased items that address the everyday needs of its customers. This merchandise includes nationally recognized brand name products, proprietary Fred's label products, and lower-priced, off-brand products.

Accurate inventory forecasting and allocation for a non-replenishment driven merchandise is a mission vital process for any retailer, but it is even more critical for a discount retainer. In 2011, Fred’s management identified a few key initiatives to improve their stores' in-stock position. Recognizing in-stock position as one of the fundamental drivers of our business, Freds initiated a project to improve and streamline inventory forecasting and allocation process through the use of a new system. The goal of the system was to allocate target quantities to stores, maximizing inventory ROI.

NEUBRAIN SOLUTION

As a result of the strong partnership with the Fred’s merchandising and IT, advanced knowledge of retail analytics technology and exemplary commitment to the project, Neubrain consultants and Freds achieved the following results: the new Sales Forecasting and Inventory Allocation system provides Freds with the advanced functionality to provide greater inventory accuracy to drive higher in-stock levels, thus strengthening operating margins throughout more accurate inventory management.

The new system provides advanced sales forecasting, store performance ranking and comparison by executing micro/macro and trending analysis of the sales data. The allocation functionality takes advantage of the sales analysis and performs allocation based on myriad of business rules, using real-time inventory data, such as on-hand, committed pending and others. According to the established workflow allocators can submit their allocations for review to supervisors, run allocations real-time, or save them for future action. In addition, allocators can re-use previously created sales and allocation profiles to improve efficiency and productivity of the process.