By Matt Pillar, chief editor
To call Showcase a unique retail concept is a bit of an understatement. The 101-store Canadian retailer bills itself the “Home of the Hottest Trends,” and it features a product line diverse enough to match the claim. As-seen-on-TV merchandise is its specialty, which means the retailer’s assortment spans health and beauty, home goods and furnishings, toys, and more.
The uniqueness of its product line creates a challenge for Craig Brownridge, manager of the Showcase Institute Training Department. Because success at Showcase depends on timely promotion of hot and constantly changing product trends, he says the retailer requires systems that are easily adaptable to meet sometimes small windows of opportunity in a competitive market. “Unlike many retailers who work on slower promotion schedules, we might change planograms, pricing, offers, and signage every day or several times per week,” he explains. That pace of change requires each of the retailer’s 600+ associates to be at the top of their game. But managing those associates’ tasks using traditional communication systems like e-mail, phone follow up, and several custom solutions that were disparate from one department to the next was cumbersome at best. In 2011, Brownridge and his colleagues at Showcase began looking for an all-in-one solution that would ensure task-oriented information was delivered—and tasks were completed—in a timely manner. “We also sought to provide associates an outlet to express issues and questions in an organized way, and to enable tracking of those issues and their resolution,” says Brownridge.
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