Company: Hot Topic
The annual sales per square foot for this 500-store retail chain. The average at competing youth-oriented retailers is $367, according to an industry survey by Wachovia Securities.
Retailer of music-influenced apparel for young people, with an emphasis on alternative styles. Torrid, a second brand of stores for young women, bills itself as "The Alternative for Sizes 12-26."
City of Industry, Calif.
Key Business Executive:
Gerald Cook, president (formerly chief operating officer)
Key Technology Manager:
John Horwath, vice president of technology
Eliminate dial-up credit-card authorization and time-consuming paper-based processes by deploying a wide-area network linking stores to headquarters. Include support for Internet phones and in-store e-mail.
Improve customer service, solicit more style and product suggestions from employees, and boost sales with faster store checkout.
Cisco routers, firewall, and IP phones; GERS and Traversity retail operations software; JDA Softwares Arthur Allocation for determining store merchandise needs; IBM Regatta server and "Shark" Enterprise Storage Server.
Lessons for Big Companies
: Dont just focus on saving money. Improved customer service and better communication between headquarters and store staff will lead to higher sales.