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November 2, 2009

JD Sports scores with SPSS

Analytics tool to help with new store openings

By Steve Evans

JD Sports Fashion has selected analytics software from SPSS in an attempt to improve its store sales forecasting as it expands across the UK. It will be using the software to measure the likely success of proposed stores.

SPSS provides predictive analytics software that is said to capture customer opinion and attitude and predict the most likely outcome of future customer interactions. The information is then embedded into business processes.

Chicago, Illinois-based SPSS was acquired by IBM in July this year to boost Big Blue’s predictive analytics capabilities. IBM said the $1.2bn deal will help it expand its focus on business analytics technology and services through advanced data capture, data mining and statistical analysis.

CBR recently spoke to Ambuj Goyal, general manager, business analytics and process optimisation in IBM’s software group about the acquisition. Listen to the podcast here.

JD Sports Fashion is currently expanding it operations across the UK and will be using IBM SPSS Modeler to help it understand what drives good store performance, such as consumer demographics, the size of the store and the products on offer.

The software will go towards planning new stores, refurbishments, relocations and upsizing and downsizing of current facilities.

Alastair Browne, site research and development manager at JD Sports Fashion said that while the firm’s previous platform was successful, it needed to be able to dig deeper into the available data.

“As demonstrated by the group’s performance over the last four years, the sales forecasting techniques currently employed by the business have been very successful. However, given the national coverage of our store portfolio and the varying demands of the consumer, we now feel the requirement to segment our stores more effectively and develop a series of more detailed models using IBM SPSS Modeler to optimise sales forecasting, and understand the potential impact on our existing store network,” he said.

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JD Sports Fashion hopes that implementing the software will enable it to open new stores safe in the knowledge that they are in the right location and have successfully analysed customer demographics.

“IBM SPSS Modeler technology offers us a wide variety of tools that allows us to undertake a much greater level of data interrogation, providing real insight into the wide range of variables that influence store performance and helping us make key decisions about our future store strategy,” said Browne.



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