Canadian Clothier Gets Personal
The CIO of Reitmans needs sales associates to know a customer's history before the sale starts. Given that most customers use loyalty cards at the end of shopping, that's a tough sweater to pull on.In the retail world, selling clothing is mostly about convincing customers what looks good on them. And it certainly helps if the salesperson already knows whats in that customers closet, what her favorite colors are, her price range and her size. Thats why Douglas Deruchie, the CIO of Canadas largest retail clothing chain, is spending a good chunk of his IT budget on outfitting some 900 stores with new Point of Sale (POS) systems. Making purchases easier is a small goal, but making those purchases more likely is a much bigger one. "Were putting in place a CRM program that would (make sales associates) be virtually online. A sales associate could immediately see the vital statistics of that customer," said Deruchie, who also serves the $912 million Reitmans Canada Ltd. chain as its Chief Financial Officer.
Reitmans stores operate under various names, including Smart-Set/Dalmys, RW & Co., Penningtons Superstore, Thyme Maternity and Addition-Elle, on top of some 343 stores that simply call themselves Reitmans.