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Where Should Retailers Reopen? New Analytics App Offers Some Answers

Retailers slowly beginning to reopen stores across the U.S. have a lot on their plate, whether it is rehiring, scheduling and re-training staff, sourcing, allocating and shipping in-season merchandise, or implementing social distancing rules. But reopening the stores is often an inexact science still predicated on many factors including government regulations, public health and safety, and local buying trends.

Robling, a cloud-based retail data warehouse provider, has launched a Store Reopening Analytics application designed to add some precision to this process by mapping retailers’ store locations against up-to-date COVID-19 metrics from the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center and other sources.

The application visualizes retailer and COVID-19 data using a zoomable nationwide map, heatmaps, charts and tables. Users can filter the data by state, county, date and distance in miles from each store location.

For each of their store locations, retailers gain immediate insights into local case and fatality counts, local case and fatality trajectories, and state government mitigations and restrictions currently in place.

Apparel retailers, specialty retailers and department stores have been some of the hardest hit sectors of the COVID-19 crisis due to strains in cash flow as spending almost moved exclusively online in the wake of temporary store closures. The Robling application is designed specifically to alleviate the recent struggles at these retailers by mapping local COVID-19 curves against the store locations, measuring and monitoring omnichannel fulfillment performance, and realigning inventory, pricing and promotion strategies to free up capital while preserving margins.

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Executives across the retail enterprise can benefit from the application. For example, merchandising executives and their buying, planning and allocation teams can use the application’s insights to prioritize supply-chain decisions and build allocation plans tailored to reopening specific locations.

Robling has launched a Store Reopening Analytics application that maps retailers’ store locations against up-to-date coronavirus metrics.
The Robling Store Reopening Analytics application provides visualization of retailer and COVID-19 data using a zoomable nationwide map, heatmaps, charts and tables. Users can filter the data by state, county, date and distance in miles from each store location. Robling

Store operations executives as well as regional, district and store managers can prioritize the deployment of reopening teams and resources and make budget and hiring decisions based on the real situation on the ground.

Retailers are required to share their store location data with Robling to tailor the application to its specific brick and mortars. Otherwise, retailers may utilize the application with pre-loaded data for approximately 1,600 shopping mall locations across the U.S.

“We developed the Store Reopening Analytics application because we saw retailers spending too much precious time piecing together information they needed to plan the reopening of even a single location,” said Jeff Buck, co-founding CEO of Robling. “The Store Reopening Analytics application puts the key insights retailers need all in one place, so they spend less time on detective work and more time seeing, planning and acting.”

The application sits atop Robling’s retail analytics platform and retail data model, enabling retailers to incorporate additional enterprise data into the application including sales, inventory, customer, pricing, promotions, staffing data and more.

Access to the standard application as well as one-time integration of a retailers’ store location data is available to retailers free of charge.