SOURCE: Sterling Commerce

October 09, 2008 10:00 ET

Industry's First Cross-Channel Think Tank Focuses on the Future of Retailing

Sterling Commerce and Deloitte Create Consortium to Shape the Vision of Cross-Channel Retailing

COLUMBUS, OH and NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - October 9, 2008) - Sterling Commerce, an AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) company, and Deloitte LLP today announced the creation of the Cross-Channel Retailing Consortium. The Consortium was founded to discuss the potential for cross-channel retailing, defined as consumers conducting their research, selection, purchase and return shopping activities across channels. The Consortium will also work to help retailers deliver the cross-channel experience by identifying the operational, organizational and technological hurdles that retailers face in orchestrating their Web, catalog, phone and in-store operations.

The inaugural meeting of the consortium was held on September 14. Led by Kasey Lobaugh, a principal at Deloitte Consulting LLP and Deloitte's US Multi-Channel Retail Leader and Jim Bengier, global retail executive from Sterling Commerce, the Consortium consisted of representatives from leading retailers such as Borders Group, Best Buy, and Victoria's Secret, and industry analysts and other retail thought leaders. This group of influential retail professionals discussed the evolving trends of cross-channel customer behavior, approaches to creating a seamless and differentiated brand experience, and strategies to maximize shareholder returns in a multi-channel environment. The Consortium will publish its findings in the coming weeks and will incorporate these findings as part of its next steps.

"Multi-channel and cross-channel are two completely different things," said Nikki Baird, managing partner at Retail Systems Research and Consortium participant. "While most retailers recognize the difference, there are few best practices out there to help guide them. Kasey Lobaugh and Jim Bengier have started something critical through this consortium, bringing together an esteemed group of visionaries to start the discussion about what cross-channel really means -- and how to get there."

"True multi-channel integration will mean different things to different companies over the next few years," said Kasey Lobaugh, "Our aim is that this consortium will deliver forward thinking that will help retailers no matter their approach -- whether it's a complete transformation of the business model or a one-step-at-a-time evolution from a product-centric world toward a customer-centric one."

"At Borders we fully embrace cross-channel execution as a key principle in driving a superior customer experience," said Kevin Ertell, senior vice president of e-Business for Borders Group. "I really enjoyed the opportunity to discuss with other great retailers and industry thought leaders the challenges -- as well as the many benefits -- of creating a true cross-channel approach."

"We expect 2009 to be the year of cross-channel retailing," said Jim Bengier. "Consumer expectations are there, and retailers are starting to close the gaps in delivering on those expectations as they find ways to integrate best practices across multiple channels and lessen their focus on the 'hard-wiring' of the physical locations."

About Sterling Commerce

Sterling Commerce, an AT&T Inc (NYSE: T) company, helps customers thrive in a global economy by connecting their business communities, processes, people, and technology. More than 30,000 customers worldwide -- including 82 percent of the Fortune 500 -- use Sterling Commerce solutions for business process integration, multi-channel selling, and supply chain fulfillment to improve profitability inside and outside their company walls. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Sterling Commerce has offices in 19 countries and most major cities around the world. More information on the company can be found at www.sterlingcommerce.com.

About Deloitte

As used in this document, "Deloitte" means Deloitte Consulting LLP and Deloitte Services LP, which are separate subsidiaries of Deloitte LLP. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries.

Contact Information

  • Contacts:
    Laura E. Wilker
    Public Relations
    Deloitte
    +1 212 492 2871
    Email Contact

    Julie Redard
    Public Relations
    Sterling Commerce
    +1 978 513 6386
    Email Contact