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Preppy clothing retailer Vineyard Vines uses IBM WebSphere
Feb '10
IBM announced that Vineyard Vines, a mid-sized lifestyle brand and retailer of preppy clothing, is using IBM technology to bridge the gap between its various shopping channels while providing customers with a more targeted and personalized shopping experience based on their purchasing history and preferences.

The Stamford, CT-based Vineyard Vines sells a full line of clothing apparel and has expanded its business operations to nine free-standing stores over the past five years. Founded in 1998 by brothers Ian and Shep Murray, the retailer opened its flagship store in 2005.

As traditional shopping channels expand beyond in-store, telesales and mail order to include online purchasing and those through smart phones and social networks, retailers are seeking ways to integrate these channels and close the sale while also gathering more intelligence about individual customers' buying preferences so they can deliver personalized incentives and attract additional sales.

Aware of these dynamics, Vineyard Vines is using IBM WebSphere Commerce to standardize its in-store, online and traditional catalog business on a single platform to reap the benefits of shared information across these channels. Among other things, the software allows the company to compile and compare purchase histories of customers. The information is then used to develop specialized promotions. Plans also call for segmented marketing to target customers living close to a Vineyard Vines stores, who may be invited to in-store events.

“Growing our business meant we needed to take a customer-focused approach – providing a uniform experience whether a customer is shopping online or in person,” said CEO and Co-Founder Ian Murray. “For us, getting a clear and accurate view of the customer required technology that would allow us to know more about them – where they shop, what they buy and how often. We sought a solution to help us deliver a brand experience beyond individual channels. With WebSphere Commerce we have found it"

Besides promotions, Vineyard Vines is using technology to ensure consistency in product promotions, discounts and returns, regardless of how customers shop. For example, customers may return goods purchased online to retail locations, which is not the case with many retailers, or obtain the same discount being offered on an in-store item when buying it online. By teaming with IBM and CrossView, which specializes in cross-channel shopping solutions, the retailer has been able to interconnect its shopping channels while continuing to offer customers a variety of buying options.

By partnering with IBM, resellers and systems integrators can drive more intelligence around mobile commerce and distributed commerce, expanding their networks and gain new insights into the newly evolving world of smart retail and other industries undergoing dramatic transformation.

Vineyard Vines, a company best known for its neckties and smiling pink whale logo, was founded on Martha's Vineyard when the Murray brothers cut their ties with corporate America to start making ties that represented "The Good Life" Vineyard Vines offers a variety of clothing and accessories for men, women and children. Products are sold in over 600 specialty and department stores worldwide. Company store locations include those in Boston, MA; Edgartown, MA; Greenwich, CT; Mashpee, MA; Memphis, TN; Nantucket, MA; The Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, FL; Washington, DC; and Westport, CT. More information is available at vineyardvines.com.

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