Retail Systems Research Announces Results of Survey: Economic Stimulus Act Will Give Retailers Opportunity to Create Brand Loyalty

Retailers that can plan and react will benefit from profits of cash infusion

ATLANTA (May 07, 2008) –

Global supply chain optimization provider Manhattan Associates, Inc. (NASDAQ: MANH) and Retail Systems Research (RSR), the only research company run by retailers for the retail industry, today announced results of a joint survey focusing on how retailers are planning to increase profits through President Bush’s Economic Stimulus Act, a $168 billion plan designed to inject new life into the economy.

The success of the Economic Stimulus Act lies in part with how consumers actually use the money provided in the rebate, and it seems that consumers are happy to oblige. The National Retail Federation (NRF) conducted a survey of nearly 8,000 consumers the week before the bill was signed into law to find out consumers’ spending plans. The survey revealed that 40.6 percent of respondents have allocated their rebates to “purchasing something they would not have otherwise purchased without the help of the rebate check.” NRF estimated that this translates into $42.9 billion of unplanned, incremental spending due to the stimulus act.

RSR conducted an online survey of 95 retailers and found that 35 percent plan to capture consumer spending from the stimulus plan. Big box retailers plan to do the most: 78 percent of big box specialty retailers plan to take advantage of the additional consumer spending, along with 55 percent of general merchandise and apparel retailers (mass merchants, department stores).

“Smart retailers can capitalize on the influx of spending by executing promotions to create brand loyalty with consumers,” said Terrie O’Hanlon, vice-president and chief marketing officer, Manhattan Associates, the joint issuer of the retail survey. “For example, a promotion allowing consumers to cash rebate checks in-store in exchange for gift cards valued at 10 percent more than the check would show that the retailer cares about the current economic state and wants to help–creating an emotional connection with the consumer that could last a lifetime.”

Of the 35 percent of respondents to the survey, most retailers’ plans revolve around advertising: 77 percent plan special promotions. But only 37 percent plan to increase inventory in preparation for those promotions, making re-allocation of current inventory a high priority over the next several months.

“If you can’t get more inventory in the categories that seem poised to move, the answer is to re-allocate what you have and what’s coming to geographies that are better poised to take advantage of windfall spending,” said Nikki Baird, managing partner, RSR Research. “High-end malls or neighborhoods aren’t likely to see much of the stimulus package, so it might be worthwhile to reroute inventory away from those locations and closer to neighborhoods that do stand to gain.”

Manhattan Associates, joint-issuer of the survey, offers global supply chain optimization software to assist enterprises with optimizing inventory to maximize profits from the Economic Stimulus Act cash injection.

To view the full report and survey results, go to: http://www.retailsystemsresearch.com/_document/summary/450
About Retail Systems Research (RSR)

Retail Systems Research was founded by Brian Kilcourse, Paula Rosenblum, Nikki Baird and Steve Rowen, long time retail industry observers and practitioners. RSR provides: insight into business and technology challenges facing the retail industry ecosystem and thought leadership and advice on navigating these challenges for specific companies and the industry at large.
About Manhattan Associates, Inc.

Manhattan Associates continues to deliver on its 17 year heritage of providing global supply chain excellence to more than 1,200 customers worldwide that consider supply chain optimization core to their strategic market leadership. The company’s supply chain innovations include: Manhattan SCOPE(TM), a portfolio of software solutions and technology that leverages a Supply Chain Process Platform to help organizations optimize their supply chains from planning through execution; Manhattan ILS(TM), a portfolio of distribution management and transportation management solutions built on Microsoft.NET technology; and Manhattan Carrier Management, a suite of supply chain solutions specifically addressing the needs of the motor carrier industry. For more information, please visit www.manh.com.

Meet with more than 1,000 supply chain leaders and learn how Manhattan SCOPE(TM) can transform your supply chain into a competitive advantage at Momentum 08 on May 18-21 in Orlando, Fla. — www.manh-momentum.com

Source: Manhattan Associates

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