StoreForce is the Winning Bet at Marshall Retail Group
Marshall Retail Group (MRG) is America’s largest, independent specialty retailer in the casino-resort and airport marketplace. Based in Las Vegas, MRG has provided consumers with a portfolio of attractive, successful brands for over 60 years.
MRG has a diverse portfolio of retail concepts for the travel and tourism industry. These range from the fashion side of men’s, women’s, and children’s stores, to a soft lines and logo side where they have souvenir stores and hotel gift shops. MRG also has license relationships with several national brands, including Harley-Davidson, Tumi, Swarovski, and Kiehl’s. Each retail concept has its own unique challenges and opportunities.
The company is driven by metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Their traffic patterns are different than the regular retail world, which is heavily weighted on the fourth quarter of the year. The travel and tourism traffic pattern is different because it is based on when people travel rather than a time of the year.
Scheduling Sales Personnel to Increase Sales
Mark Rimler, Senior Vice President of Operations, says, “As we grew, we concentrated on how we could best manage the company’s largest controllable expenditure, which is store payroll. We wanted to make sure that we used our personnel properly to maximize sales.”
It’s essential that MRG determines how traffic plays a role in identifying opportunities to create sales conversions. As such, in addition to their POS data, they have a traffic counter system set up at the entrance to their stores which captures the number of customers coming in and out throughout the day.
Mark adds, “The other big issue for us is scheduling our salespeople. It’s very important to have our best people on the floor during the busiest times of the week. Each store has its own unique pattern, so to maximize capability we need to have a business analytics tool for each brand that combines traffic with sales by hour to determine salesperson productivity and to identify the peaks and valleys of the business.”
Building Great Partner Relationships
In selecting an analytics tool, MRG looked at the marketplace for what would best fit their unique needs. They met with a lot of different companies and felt very strongly that StoreForce presented a business tool that had everything they were looking for.
StoreForce was chosen not just for their software capability, but also for the StoreForce organization itself. Mark says, “MRG is a company that likes to build great business partnerships and we found that to also be the case with StoreForce. They had the foresight to see that we would be great partners.”
MRG had a number of business development meetings with StoreForce where all the different components of the product were reviewed. StoreForce walked through each component and how it could fit within MRG. Together MRG and StoreForce built the business rules that MRG needed in the system. For example, for hotel gift shops MRG needed to have the system track information on a 24/7/365 basis. Then StoreForce went back and put the rules together, set it up for MRG and hosted the finished SaaS product.
Mark says, “StoreForce was incredibly attentive to our needs and every issue that popped up. They were very resourceful in helping solve whatever questions arose. The StoreForce support team solidified our decision from a business partner standpoint. We view their business as important to us, and they view our business as important to them. It’s a very nice thing to see.”
Results: Improved KPIs.
MRG has seen growth in their KPIs for the stores. They now have better scheduling and payroll control and the added benefits of having reports and dashboards in a much timelier manner.
“I can’t yet speak to an exact ROI dollar number,” says Mark, “but I will say that our goal and expectations were to see a growth in our conversion rate, our average transaction, and our units per transaction, and that has happened. We’ve seen improvement in how we schedule and in our sales performance. We see a great benefit in some of the reporting features that we’ve received. I credit StoreForce as being a great partner that helps us drive improvement in our revenues.
“The most basic fact is that now every single day our managers can actually see the performance metrics that they are generating on a day, a week, a month, a quarter, or a year-to-date basis. That helps change behavior. When you can see what you’ve done and see where you have areas of opportunity, it can help drive the training and development of your staff to a much higher level. Those are the changes in behavior that we see that help drive our business.”
Mark continues, “StoreForce has really lived up to my expectations. They’re unique in that everybody who works at StoreForce has worked for a retail organization. They come out of the industry that I do business in. Their system is built for specialty retail organizations and they are always looking to improve it.”
“I would highly recommend StoreForce,” said Mark. “They’re a great partner to do business with. They’ve delivered all the things they told us they would. StoreForce should be the provider of choice for anyone who’s looking for an analytic tool that can take all the retail data and produce actionable information.
“We put a very high value on the business partners that put a high value on their relationship with us. StoreForce has done that. They are there to help and guide us and even look for opportunities to make their system work even better for us. That’s the biggest driving force for me. They didn’t just sell me a piece of software, promise me the world, and under-deliver. They worked with us as a partner to meet our needs and they delivered it in a flawless fashion.”
Mark concludes, “I will tell you, unequivocally, that this was the easiest and the best implementation of software that we’ve experienced here and that I’ve experienced in my entire career.”