Tailors and Gardeners Integrate

By Evan Schuman  |  Posted 2004-11-30 Print this article Print

Humans, Tech, Too"> Although the owner of an aggressive Web site, clothing chain Casual Male also uses CRM aggressively to identify its customers so that floor salespeople can help close deals. But does its site use fancy virtual fitting rooms? Nope. Casual Male believes that a tailor works best feeling material and chalking up pants, which it believes is what customers want. Technology has a place in Casual Males more than 533 stores, but not at the end of a tape measure. To read more about Casual Males approach to retail CRM, click here.
With the seasons wave of shoplifters and related fraudsters, many retailers are launching sophisticated anti-fraud measures, both on their sites and in their physical stores. The Chase-Pitkin chain of home/garden supplies is certainly no exception.
But after Chase-Pitkin deployed an elaborate software system to reduce thefts, CIO Chris Dorsey discovered that identifying the problems only got him one-third of the way to solving the crimes. For that, he used the softwares data to reposition cameras and to tell undercover security agents what to look for. It worked. But neither would have worked alone. Without the new integrated software system, the security guards and the cameras were looking for the proverbial needle thief in the retail haystack. The technology only worked when it was integrated with humans.Its certainly not a radically new thought, but its one that bears repeating. When youre salivating over the latest piece of hardware, its sometimes worth noting that the fastest and most adaptable CPUs in the world are already on the payroll. Retail Center Editor Evan Schuman has tracked high-tech issues since 1987, has been opinionated long before that and doesnt plan to stop any time soon. He can be reached at Evan_Schuman@ziffdavis.com. To read earlier retail technology opinion columns from Evan Schuman, please click here. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on technologys impact on retail.

Evan Schuman is the editor of CIOInsight.com's Retail industry center. He has covered retail technology issues since 1988 for Ziff-Davis, CMP Media, IDG, Penton, Lebhar-Friedman, VNU, BusinessWeek, Business 2.0 and United Press International, among others. He can be reached by e-mail at Evan.Schuman@ziffdavisenterprise.com.

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel