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Big Data Journal Authors: Liz McMillan, Esmeralda Swartz, Pat Romanski, Adrian Bridgwater, Carmen Gonzalez

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SAS® Analytics: The ‘Secret Sauce’ for Retail Success Today

Successful retailers may not shout about it in their news release headlines, but for more than three decades they’ve used the “secret sauce” of SAS software, now including SAS® for retail, to gain critical customer insights and unparalleled operational efficiencies. With SAS, the leader in business analytics software and services, these companies have transformed themselves from yesterday’s neighborhood merchants to today’s agile omnichannel retail giants.

Ann Taylor, dunnHumby, Family Dollar, Walmart, Gilt Groupe and Target are members of this elite club of progressive retailers who successfully weave analytics into daily operations to make better customer-oriented decisions about optimizing merchandise assortments, display space and the sizes they stock. It’s SAS Analytics that helps retailers realize a level of precision that ultimately sells more merchandise and improves profits.

Using a portfolio of SAS retail analytics – including high-performance analytics - Family Dollar makes better decisions that build customer loyalty and improve operational agility. “Now we can crunch through and analyze huge levels of data on a daily basis and make changes in a much shorter window,” said Scott Zucker, Vice President of Business Services at Family Dollar, a discount mega-chain with 7,400 stores in 45 states. “Working in collaboration with SAS on a big data issue we were facing, we recently dropped a process that took 36 hours down to less than 45 minutes. That enables me to implement a promotion, and within one day I could probably get a read on it. It changes my speed to market dramatically so I can make changes midweek versus monthly. You can move a lot faster. The difference between exceeding Wall Street expectations and meeting Wall Street expectations is being able to see the trends in advance, analyze the data and react quickly.”

Analytics makes dollars and sense for retailers

When a retailer uses all available data to better understand the customer, it can create innovative sales programs, empower associates and make better decisions. Those retailers that don’t take their data seriously run the risk of being shoved onto the clearance rack.

“Innovation is rampant right now,” said Deborah Weinswig, Managing Director, Retailing Team, Citi Investment Research & Analysis. “Amazon is spending 56.2 percent of capital expenditures (after 2011 acquisitions) on technology to change the retail game. Retailers are now looking at the next generation of technologies. Providers like SAS are at the forefront of this trend. We believe retailers are eager to implement the next generation of optimization systems given the strong track record of optimization technology on their P&L.”

“Each retailer has a specific DNA – experience from its own transactions married with unique assets like its executives’ insights,” said Diana McHenry, Director of SAS Global Retail Marketing. “Customer analytics from SAS form an unparalleled foundation that powers better results and drives mobile, social and local initiatives to help retailers beat their competition – whether that competition is in a building down the street or on a smartphone in the customer’s hand.”

Progressive retailers work with SAS

SAS’ unparalleled retail business knowledge - coupled with powerful, advanced analytics – allows retailers to anticipate customers’ wishes, empowers retailers to act, and drives better results. SAS’ customer and merchandising solutions are available through a variety of investment, deployment and growth options.

SAS retail customers include A&P, Aéropostale, Ann Taylor, AutoZone, Beall’s, Belk, Best Buy, Brooks Brothers, Cabela’s, Carrefour, Casino, Casual Male, Charming Shoppes, Chico’s FAS Inc., DSW, Eddie Bauer, Family Dollar, Foot Locker, Gander Mountain, Godiva, Hallmark, Hudson’s Bay Company, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Mark’s Work Wearhouse, Marks & Spencer, Nestlé, Northern Tool & Equipment, Office Depot, Overstock.com, S-Group, Sainsbury’s, Staples, Tesco, Waitrose, Wakefern, Williams-Sonoma, Winn-Dixie and 1-800-FLOWERS.COM.

For more information about SAS Retail Intelligence Solutions and SAS Customer Intelligence solutions, visit www.sas.com. Visit SAS at the NRF 102nd Annual Convention and EXPO in Booth 753.

About SAS

SAS is the leader in business analytics software and services, and the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market. Through innovative solutions, SAS helps customers at more than 60,000 sites improve performance and deliver value by making better decisions faster. Since 1976 SAS has been giving customers around the world THE POWER TO KNOW®. SAS and all other SAS Institute Inc. product or service names are registered trademarks or trademarks of SAS Institute Inc. in the USA and other countries. ® indicates USA registration. Other brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies. Copyright © 2013 SAS Institute Inc. All rights reserved.

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