Author: Accelerated Analytics

Our Power Packs Go Beyond What Comes in Free Portals

With 15 years in the DIY sales and inventory reporting business, and over 50 years of retail experience, Accelerated Analytics offers “Power Packs” of reports expertly crafted for home and hardware brands. Our reports provide instant access to key performance indicators and measures that brands need to monitor results and drive business success at The Home Depot POS Reporting Solutions and Lowe’s. Brands are able to obtain some information directly from the retailers’ portals, so you may be asking what our consultative reports have that the free portals don’t. Easier to use, with greater flexibility and more robust data, our reports can be leveraged to improve sales comps and optimize inventory.

While brands can use the free retailer portals, the process of managing that data each week still presents challenges:

  • Extraction from each portal is manual, separate and difficult to merge into spreadsheets, and can take several days to get together, losing valuable time to take action on last week’s results
  • Retailer-specific SKUs need to be cross referenced to each other and to internal brand SKUs
  • Store information, product descriptions and attributes, comps and calendaring need manual manipulation or are not incorporated at all
  • Distribution to teams is manual, difficult and time consuming
  • Actionable insights are not readily called out, such as out of stocks or lost sales opportunities

Take a look at a side-by-side comparison of Home Depot Link, Lowe’s DART and Accelerated Analytics for more details on what our robust “Power Pack” of reports can provide!

The Top 5 Retail POS Reports in 2017

Whether they sell lighting fixtures or lip gloss, our customers understand the power of leveraging retail POS data to gain valuable insights into their business. And while the go-to reports for a planning executive for a cosmetics company might be different from the reports that a hardware store field rep relies on each day, there are five Accelerated Analytics reports that emerged as customer favorites across all brand categories in 2017:

Print & Go Door Level Report

Most often used by Beauty vendors, Print & Go Door Level Reports reveal a brand’s most important store level activity and sales results. Each page of the report is designed to reflect activity for a particular door and the report is designed so the user can quickly see results from a product category perspective. At a glance, the user can see last week’s sales, comp to last year, % to plan, and balance to get to plan. In addition to the prior week, the report shows month, season, and year to date results, as well as full prior year and current contribution to their total chain. The report displays such that each page reflects one door. This report is ideal to distribute to store managers and beauty consultants on the selling floor so they can direct sales and inventory to meet and exceed plan goals.

Store Sales Data Report

In addition to specific sales and inventory levels at each store, the Store Sales Data Report shows the number of active stores, weeks selling in stores, sell through, sales-to-stock ratios, weeks-of-supply and turn. With flexible date ranges, this report is a great snapshot of store performance with this year/last year comps. Online sales are also represented as a “store” in the report. The report helps identify top and bottom performing stores and their contribution to total sales within a retailer. Cross-retailer views also allow for competitive analysis for stores that are in the same geographical area.

Geographic Store Across Retailers Report

Because your data is multi-retailer, you can look at product level performance across geography and across retailers. Where is your customer buying? What is your customer buying? What sells better at each retailer? How did your product launch or promotion go? What is your product inventory spread across retailers? This report is critical to gain a better internal analysis of your business.

Dashboard/Scorecard Report

Dashboards and scorecard reports quickly identify units and dollars sales metrics, as well as top and bottom performing products and stores. The report can be run from a total corporate, retailer-specific and store-specific view, as well as blend cross-retailer information to identify performance across your key accounts.

Product-to-Date Report

In addition to the basics, the Product-to-Date Report shows sales-to-stock ratios and weeks-of-supply with on-hand and on-order inventory levels. In-stock percentages, turns and average units and dollars are also displayed.

Infographic: Top 5 Reports of 2017

Request and download our infographic detailing the benefits of each of our top 5 reports:

Christmas Cheer Felt by Retailers This Holiday Season

Retailers Christmas Joy

With consumer confidence currently at a 17-year high (as reported in our Retail Industry Briefing Book) it makes sense that holiday retail sales in the U.S. rose at their best pace since 2011, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse, which tracks both online and in-store spending. Excluding automobiles, sales rose 4.9% from Nov. 1 through Christmas Eve, compared with a 3.7% gain in the same period last year.

“It started with a bang in the week leading up to Black Friday,” said Sarah Quinlan, a senior vice president of marketing insights at Mastercard. She added that retailers benefited this year from Christmas Day falling on a Monday, giving shoppers a full weekend to scoop up last-minute purchases. Dec. 23 ranked next to Black Friday in terms of spending, according to Mastercard.

“Overall, this year was a big win for retail,” Ms. Quinlan said.

Retailers are breathing a sigh of relief. From department-store giants like Macy’s to mall favorites like The Gap, brick and mortar retail struggled through a difficult year of store closures.

In past years spending was driven by high-income shoppers, but this year there is a lot more spending from the lower- and middle-income groups due to rising wages and low unemployment.

Source: Wall Street Journal

The Home Depot’s Investments Have Paid Off

Home Depot Investments At its investor day last week, The Home Depot commented on their successful investment strategies over the past decade, and the results in sales growth that they attribute to those efforts. The retailer has invested 5% every year to its ecommerce platform and improving current stores versus opening new ones. This has resulted in more than 6% sales growth for comp stores for 5 years. This past quarter they reported nearly 7% in increases. Accelerated Analytics customers are helping with driving those sales, posting an average of 9% growth in year over year comp stores.

In the investor call, The Home Depot announced it plans to double the investment spending in the next 3 years to $11.1 billion. Specific investments mentioned were faster check-out for customers, flexible scheduling and better wages for employees in the stores, and increasing inventory turn to be more efficient and keep stores fresh. The retailer is hoping for sales to reach $119.8 billion by 2021. CFO Carol Tome expects the expansion due to rising home value appreciation, and was not concerned by any possible tax plan changes that would change mortgage deductions. CEO Craig Menear reiterated that sentiment, saying fears are “overblown” and that tax reform will have an “immediate and significant benefit” for their tax rate.


The 12 Days of Christmas with Accelerated Analytics

On the first day of Christmas, Accelerated gave to me, a portal with all my retail data!

On the second day of Christmas Accelerated gave to me, 2 days free from spreadsheets,

On the third day of Christmas Accelerated gave to me, 3 clicks to run reports,

On the fourth day of Christmas Accelerated gave to me, 4% fewer out-of-stocks,

On the fifth day of Christmas Accelerated gave to me, 5% cost reductions

On the sixth day of Christmas Accelerated gave to me, 6% increase in sales,

On the seventh day of Christmas Accelerated gave to me, 7 expert reports to run my business

On the eighth day of Christmas Accelerated gave to me, 8 weeks hitting sell-thru targets,

On the ninth day of Christmas Accelerated gave to me, 9 retailers with increased profits,

On the tenth day of Christmas Accelerated gave to me, 10 happy executives,

On the eleventh day of Christmas Accelerated gave to me, 11 print & go reports for sales reps,

On the twelve day of Christmas Accelerated gave to me, 12 months of the Tools You Need to Win at Retail!

Get expert reporting tools for your company for the holidays this year and you’ll be singing these results next December!

POS Reporting Tools Being Used by Luxury Brands

POS Reporting Tools

Luxury brands are constantly struggling with department stores’ need to markdown their merchandise, which hurts the prestige and high value of their brand. Over this Christmas season, brands such as Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors and Kate Spade are watching sales and inventory levels very closely each week. When possible, retailers are even monitoring daily, looking at sell-through percentages to determine if they need to mark products down to keep sales-to-stock ratios balanced. Customer buying trends of ordering online and returning the item to a brick and mortar store exacerbates the problem. Brands needs to be on top of the data to try to make recommendations that don’t result in retailers marking their merchandise down. The trick at the end of the holiday season is not to sell the most, but to end up with the least amount of unsold merchandise going into January. Using POS data and staying informed about where their merchandise is at all times helps brands alleviate the need to buy more than they need, “just in case”.


You Can Have Your Retail Cake and Eat it Too

As retailers strive to create experiences for their customers in their brick and mortar stores, providing an eating outlet is becoming more and more the norm. The concept is not old: Macy’s opened its first restaurant inside a department store back in 1907. Nordstrom has cafes in all of its stores, and have now expanded the concept to “hubs” with a café, nail salons and personal shoppers. Wal-Mart has McDonald’s and Target has Starbucks and food courts. Whole Foods has always had a restaurant inside their stores. Retailers are watching their holiday traffic patterns as they decide what to offer in their stores next. October retail store traffic was down, as was restaurant traffic. The next possible phase for restaurants in retail? Using the food to reflect the branding of the retailer and make “Instagramable”, attractive and unique food items to promote the social media experience. Outdoor malls that are part of master planned residential communities are incorporating living, eating and shopping as an all-in-1 experience, allowing customers to eat, take their beverage out into the mall and shop while hearing live entertainment, making it a social experience.


Accelerated Analytics Beauty Customers Make the Allure “19 Best Holiday Gift Ideas for the Beauty Obsessed in 2017” List

Allure Magazine kicked off the holiday season by announcing its top 19 beauty gift ideas. Out of the thousands of possible gifts, many standouts are products from Accelerated Analytics beauty customers. These brands utilize the sales and inventory reports provided by Accelerated to drive their business through their retail accounts and manage the day to day sales and goals that are Best Holiday Gift Ideas so prevalent and critical within beauty industry sales, especially during the peak holiday season, which accounted for double-digit sales for the category the past two Decembers. Deloitte US’s holiday survey reported that the number of consumers who plan to buy beauty products this holiday will grow from 18% to 29%. So, which of our customers made the list?

  • Estee Lauder’s MAC snowball false eyelashes dotted with roots of gold glitter
  • L’Oreal’s Urban Decay Naked Vault Vol IV ultimate makeup palette
  • Beautyblender Blender for All Seasons egg-shaped, revolutionary makeup sponge
  • T3 Micro’s Whirl Trio Interchangeable Styling Wand – this also won Allure’s Best of Beauty of the Year prize!

2017: Year of the Retail Apocalypse

Retailers Closing in 2017

The year 2017 is being talked about as the “year of the retail apocalypse”. Over 3000 companies have filed for bankruptcy, and 20 big retailers have or are about to close hundreds of brick and mortar stores in the US. With the big holiday weekend of Thanksgiving/Black Friday and Cyber Monday behind us, consumers are proving that online shopping will continue to prevail, and retailers are making adjustments to focusing on digital platforms, while still trying to entice shoppers into their remaining stores. Being a big toy buying season, the announcement of Toys R Us’ bankruptcy filing is taking center stage, but the retailer maintains it will keep its 1,600 stores open. Amazon won the weekend with sales with 13 million transactions in just the first two days. They were followed by WalMart, Best Buy, Target and Kohl’s.

Amid the gloom, some retailers are still seeing success, and as many retailers shrink, other new retailers are making their way into brick and mortar to take their place. Perhaps rather than an “apocalypse’ retail is seeing an “evolution”.

Sources: Fox Business, Chain Store Age

How is Holiday Shopping Season Going for Retailers?

The National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts this year’s holiday retail sales to increase by 3-4% over last year, which saw sales reach $655.8 billion. The holiday season of Thanksgiving/Black Friday and Cyber Monday through Christmas accounts for 30-40% of total retail sales for the year. Retail expert Jan Kniffen told CNBC this weekend that online retail sales should grow another 20% this year. Traffic in malls was down 9% over the weekend, and many shoppers tended to showroom, looking at products live in the stores, but then ordering online for a better deal. Retail during the Holidays Economist Diane Swonk also reported to the news network’s “Trading Nation” that millennials are continuing to harm brick and mortar retail stores by increasing online shopping, which she predicts will hit 50% of retail sales soon. The NRF reports those young shoppers are spending their money on apparel, electronics, books, music and video games. Home improvement retail still is going strong in stores, though, as they are investing in DIY projects for repairs and remodeling. Those DIY items tend to need in-store experiences to look at the products before buying them.