Chapter 10 Merchandise Management

Merchandising has evolved into the 21st century with the emergence of analytics, AI, and machine learning.

EDITED, the data analytics company named to Fast Company’s 2014 Most Innovative Companies List, tackles this problem through machine learning (Fast Company, 2016). EDITED’s platform crawls brand and retail websites across the globe, monitors consumer opinions on social media, and analyzes output from key industry events, blending machine-learning with human editing. In seconds, it takes vast amounts of real time, measurable data – a task that would be completely unsustainable for a team of human analysts – and turns it into the kind of actionable information that can give brands and retailers a competitive edge when making inventory, pricing, and merchandise management decisions (Kansara, 2011).

A typical merchandise problem is for a given retailer, at a fixed point in time ‘t’, what is the product list ‘p1,…pn’ to display in such a way to maximize revenue (dataiku, 2013)?

Abercrombie tries to reach our customer through a full, omni-channel, unified platform so that they can shop who we are, anywhere that they are.” - Daniel Trimmer, Senior Manager of Product Facing Solutions

Source: Abercrombie Twitter site