Gap Inc.’s Intermix luxury fashion brand has deployed the Oracle Retail Merchandising Foundation Cloud Service, Oracle Retail Merchandising Insights Cloud Service, Oracle Retail Integration Cloud Service and Oracle Retail Store Inventory Management running on the Oracle Cloud throughout its franchise to drive end-to-end operational efficiencies and empower its business teams, according to an Oracle press release.
Paul Chapman, chief information officer at Gap Inc., stated in the press release that the deployment of the Oracle cloud solutions by Intermix, which occurred over the last six months represents "the first step on a journey to adopting cloud technology across our global operations."
The Merchandising Foundation and Retail Integration services together allow merchants to synchronize end-to-end merchandising operations from buying to inventory valuation, according to Oracle. Daily tasks such as purchase order approval and sales auditing are made more efficient and effective with exception-based dashboard notifications and alerts. Also, through its modern analytics interface and exception-based reporting, the Insights Cloud Service leverages the value of the merchandising data and identifies actionable opportunities across product, price, promotion and placement.
In a press release announcing this deployment, Oracle noted that Gap has been a "long-standing customer" of Oracle. It wasn’t kidding. The retailer has been using Oracle software in some part of its business since at least 2001, when it deployed what was then called Oracle’s e-business software suite. Few retailers have been investing in their e-commerce aspirations for so long, let alone working with the same vendor partner.
A lot has happened with Gap since then, a vast brand expansion into new market segments being just one of them. The retailer acquired Intermix in 2013 as it looked expand into the luxury apparel segment.
Gap has been struggling against fast fashion rivals and last month announced it would close about 200 Gap and Banana Republic stores. At the same time, it’s looking to open more Old Navy and Athleta stores as the company looks to these banners for growth.
It’s unclear where Intermix mixes into these plans, if at all, but one way to keep that part of the Gap empire running smoothly is to use a cloud-based system to tie it all together. Oracle declined to discuss further details of the deployment, but such systems often can be used to enable a robust upgrade on how inventory is managed and accessed across a large number of stores.
It's an effort more retailers are undertaking as they look to gain some operational and cost efficiencies, and gain a competitive edge by demonstrating to customers they are fully aware of all their inventory across locations at any given moment. We saw Nordstrom turn to Infor for similar cloud help earlier this year, and both Oracle and Salesforce have had success working with retailers on cloud migrations.
Gap's CIO hinted in the press release, that the massive operator of retail brands is at the beginning of its own broader cloud migration. That could mean even more Gap business for Oracle, and a great deal of cloud-based inventory efficiency for Gap.