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Tractor Supply Co. unearths pricing insights

BY Dan Berthiaume

Rural lifestyle retailer Tractor Supply Co. has been strengthening its IT infrastructure to support growth, and now is turning its attention to pricing.

Tractor Supply Co. plans to grow from 1,500 to 2,500 stores, and has been shifting to a Web-scale architecture and new ERP platform. Now the company is extending an existing partnership with merchandise optimization solutions provider Revionics Inc. through 2019.

Using the Revionics price suite, the retailer has implemented diverse price strategies throughout the country. Tractor Supply has also continued its focus on pricing intelligently based on the needs of its customers, and believes strategic pricing results in customer loyalty while meeting key business goals. The chain seeks to drive additional business impact and ROI through more sophisticated use of Revionics’ price and markdown optimization suites.

Having an efficient IT architecture and ERP platform is vital for any retailer seeking to support increased sales and store growth. However, all that supporting infrastructure and analytical capacity by itself will not drive increased revenue if a retailer does not know how to optimally set or alter prices at a localized level. By deepening its use of price and markdown optimization technology, Tractor Supply is helping ensure its infrastructure investments provide a maximum return.

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Weyerhaeuser sells liquid packaging board business

BY HBSDealer Staff

Weyerhaeuser Company has reached a deal with Japanese company Nippon Paper Industries Co. to sell the final piece of its cellulose fibers business.

Nippon has agreed to buy Weyerhaeuser's liquid packaging board business for $285 million cash, which will largely go toward paying off Weyerhaeuser's debt.

The transaction includes one mill located in Longview, Washington, with an annual capacity of 280,000 tons.

The strategic review of the cellulose fibers business began in November 2015. Weyerhaeuser announced the planned sale of its pulp mills in May 2016. The company's review of its printing papers joint venture is ongoing.

"This transaction creates significant value for Weyerhaeuser shareholders and enhances the focus of our portfolio as we work to be the world's premier timber, land, and forest products company," said Doyle R. Simons, president and CEO.

"The employees of our liquid packaging board business have much to contribute to the future success of Nippon Paper Industries.  I want to thank our team for continuing to operate safely, and for delivering an exceptional customer experience throughout the strategic review process," said Simons. "Our liquid packaging board products and people are celebrated across the industry for their quality."

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory review, and is expected to close in the third quarter 2016. The Weyerhaeuser liquid packaging board mill and Nippon Paper Industries will continue to operate separately until the transaction closes.

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Whirlpool talks food intelligence

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Whirlpool Corporation is partnering with Innit to devise a new series of connected cooking appliances, starting with Jenn-Air brand WiFi-connected ovens.

The new appliances will be connected via the Innit platform, offering automated cooking and digital recipes that can be based on personal dietary and taste preferences.

The step-by-step preparation instructions are aimed at helping more consumers cook at home, providing chef-level functionality that helps take the guesswork out of cooking.

"Whirlpool Corporation has taken a leading role in introducing innovative connected appliances, and the Innit platform adds powerful and intuitive ways to connect food to the kitchen," said Brett Dibkey, VP integrated business units at Whirlpool Corporation.

"Jenn-Air and Innit are delivering a new layer of intelligence to the kitchen, helping consumers achieve breakthrough levels of convenience, flavor, and healthy cooking," said Steve Brown, general manager of Jenn-Air. "We're confident that Jenn-Air consumers, as early adopters, will embrace this technology and the added precision it brings to cooking and entertaining."

Though live demos and cooking classes are already available at the Pirch retail showroom in New York City, Whirlpool and Innit will begin consumer trials in late 2016, with Jenn-Air connected wall ovens scheduled for release in early 2017.

"Nearly every aspect of our lives has benefitted from digital innovation, but food and the kitchen are still largely analog.  Together, Innit and Whirlpool Corporation are bringing forward a new class of technology to empower people through food, while maximizing simplicity and enjoyment," said Eugenio Minvielle, founder and president, Innit. "By unlocking information within food, Innit can help consumers get more out of their Jenn-Air appliances, and reduce dinnertime stress."

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