Recent Posts by Mark Schwans

How to Evaluate an AI Demand Forecasting & Planning Solution

AI Demand Forecasting & Planning solutions are redefining traditional practices. They're improving inventory placement and reducing overall inventory costs, returns, and markdowns. Already prominent retailers such as Walgreens and PACSUN are reaping the benefits of these solutions. But not all solutions are created equally, and people struggle to evaluate them. Many advocate pilots, and while that is a viable option, even free pilots cost your company time and resources. Pilot or not, you need methods to down-select solution providers.

Read more

Inflation and Transportation Costs May Have Peaked, but their Impact Remains

An extensive amount of news today focuses on inflation and supply chain disruptions. The latest Survey of Consumers focused on inflation's impact to consumer sentiment, which fell to its lowest level since November 2011. While the Delta and Omicron variants have pushed the index lower, consumers' primary concern is rising inflation and falling real incomes.1

Read more

There will Never be a Better Time for Systemic Promotional Changes

Any post-crisis (or even mid-crisis) is the best time for new opportunities, offering a clean slate for growth and rebirth. For years, promotional ineptitude has been well documented – with Nielsen publishing that 2/3 of promotions fail. Confirmed by study after study that would show anywhere between 80-90% of them don’t unleash additional revenue or margin. Even with that knowledge, the allure of trade dollars, and the risk of dramatic change, compelled most to stay the course and continue to invest in bad promotions. That’s now changed.

Read more

Finding Profit in Omnichannel

Not an Ideal Predicament

Depleted revenue, compressed margins, a shortage of labor, plus an infrastructure not designed for an online volume consisting of 40-60% of total sales. Not ideal for fashion retailers. And beyond that, retailers experience up to 8 percentage points of margin loss on a digital order.1

Read more

Listening to Retail Executives

In’s inaugural CAB meeting with over 20 executives from 12 retailers, we discussed key retail topics affecting retailers today, including the customer journey, AI/ML emergence, sustainability, and omnichannel. Here are the highlights.

Read more