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Children's Fashion Retailer Kids 21 Selects IBM Commerce on Cloud to Expand into 15 Markets Across Asia-Pacific

IBM Cloud and Digital Analytics Technologies Help Leading Retailer Accelerate Growth and Deliver Personalized Promotions

AMONK, N.Y. and SINGAPORE, April 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that Kids 21, a leading children's fashion retailer operated by luxury fashion group Club 21, will use its cloud, e-commerce and analytics software to deliver personalized experience while expanding its online presence across Asia-Pacific. When it launches in the third quarter, the new online site will increase Kids 21's reach from four to more than 15 countries in the region.

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Delivered through the IBM SoftLayer cloud platform, the IBM WebSphere Commerce software will give Kids 21 a powerful customer interaction platform for omni-channel commerce.  In addition, Kids 21 will use IBM's cloud-based Digital Analytics across its branded storefronts to understand real-time shopping trends and deliver personalized promotions based on the unique preferences of its customers.  The company's online operations will also benefit from improved scalability, speed and security with faster provisioning of cloud computing resources through IBM SoftLayer's dedicated servers. 

Established by Club 21 in 1997, Kids 21 currently operates 16 retail outlets located in Singapore, Malaysia, China (Hong Kong) and Thailand. They carry more than 80 fashion apparel brands including a children's range of adult lines such as Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, John Galliano, Marc Jacobs, Lanvin, Oscar de la Renta, Paul Smith and Stella McCartney.

Kids 21 needed speed and agility to expand its digital foothold and compete against other Web boutiques and e-commerce sites in the region's booming online market.  According to Forrester Research, the total online retail revenue from just five markets – China, India, Japan, South Korea and Australia – is expected to grow from US$398 billion in 2013 to US$858 billion in 2018*.

"We are delighted to be working with IBM and their business partner Cnetric to launch our Kids21 online presence in Asia. Our ambition is to carry forward the exceptional customer experience and fashion curation we offer to our discerning and fashion conscious customers into the online world. We will also use this initiative to drive Kids21 into new markets across Asia Pacific," said E-Len Fu, director of Kids 21.

"We selected Cnetric and IBM WebSphere Commerce due to their combined extensive experience in online retail and the rich capabilities in the software to help personalize the customer experience. We also chose the cloud-based offering to reduce overall cost and improve speed to market which is very important to our growth plans," she added.

Kids 21 teamed up with IBM and IBM Business Partner Cnetric in a Commerce-as-a-Service deployment to further strengthen their position as both a fashion-forward retailer and future-ready enterprise. The combination of cloud, e-commerce and business analytics technologies will strengthen Kids 21's customer service and brand loyalty. 

According to a study done by the IBM Center for Applied Insights, the use of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) not only helps save costs but also provides a significant competitive advantage by improving the customer experience.  Kids 21 can now provide a superior shopping experience, improve time to market and reduce costs without the large upfront investments required to build a new digital platform or physical storefront in each market.

"By integrating its e-commerce roadmap with analytics and cloud, Kids 21 is well-prepared to take the lead in the retail industry of the future, deepen engagement with customers and secure greater brand loyalty and advocacy," said Elsie Tan, country manager, Software Group, IBM Singapore. "With Smarter Commerce, retailers can transform their business processes to more quickly respond to shifting customer demands in the digitally-transformed marketplace."

*Forrester Research's Asia Pacific Online Retail Forecast, 2013 to 2018

About Club 21
Kids 21 is a subsidiary of Club 21, Asia's leading purveyor of luxury fashion with 3,800 employees across four continents. Established in 1972, Club 21 has managed over 250 brands across nearly 400 stores in Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the USA. For more information, visit http://www.club21global.com/

About Cnetric
Cnetric is a Premier IBM business partner with core competencies in Collaborative eCommerce, Business Process Management and Business Analytics, across a wide range of IBM technologies. Leveraging IBM Smarter Commerce on IBM SoftLayer platform, Cnetric's Commerce-as-a-Service offering, called Universal Commerce Suite (UCS), provides retailers with a cost-effective e-Commerce platform to build an online business and engage customers more personally. For more information on Cnetric and its solutions, visit: http://www.cnetric.com/

About IBM
IBM's Smarter Commerce initiative supports companies transform their business model and processes to more quickly respond to shifting customer demands in today's digitally-transformed marketplace. For more information about IBM Smarter Commerce for Retail, visit http://www-01.ibm.com/software/commerce/retail/

Today, IBM has 100+ cloud SaaS solutions, thousands of experts with deep industry knowledge helping clients transform and a network of 40 data centers worldwide.  IBM has helped more than 30,000 clients around the world, and processes more the 5.5M client transactions daily through IBM's public cloud. For more information about cloud offerings from IBM, visit http://www.ibm.com/smartcloud. Follow us on Twitter at @IBMcloud and on our blog at http://www.thoughtsoncloud.com.  Join the conversation #ibmcloud.

For more information about IBM, visit http://www.ibm.com

Contact(s) Information

Amanda Carl
IBM Global Communications
[email protected]

Harriet Ip
IBM External Relations
+65-8418-1521
[email protected]

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SOURCE IBM

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