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Wakefield, Mass. - Marks & Spencer has launched a successful rollout of the Marketmax Automation & Optimization (A&O) retail space planning software. The software is automating weekly fresh food assortments in 52 stores and will be extended to more stores in the new year.
Marketmax's proprietary optimization software was co-developed with Marks & Spencer's Food Supply Chain Team to address one of the great challenges at the front end of the supply chain: store-specific assortments and space plans. The software uses Genetic Algorithms to rapidly evaluate thousands of space planning solutions and automatically produce optimized store-specific visual presentations and space plans.
For each of its stores throughout the United Kingdom, Marks & Spencer requires individual, weekly-updated assortments in each category. The new Marketmax software provides the ability for Marks & Spencer to produce store-specific plans while reducing the complexity of the business process and minimizing the associated overhead costs. Marks & Spencer is using the software to automatically produce approximately 6,500 unique weekly plans: 125 plans per week in each of 52 stores.
"No other technology can automatically optimize such a large number of space plans at one time," said Marks & Spencer programme director, Chris Head. "In addition to the speed and accuracy of the plans, Marketmax's A&O software supports Marks & Spencer's objective to better manage in-store displays, and improve product availability on the shelf. I'm delighted with the results and we will double the number of stores using the software in early 2002 before extending to all stores in the chain."
Marketmax, based in Wakefield, Mass., provides advanced retail planning, analytics and optimization software to retailers and their suppliers.