Specialty sports fashion and casual wear retailer JD Sports has selected Oracle Retail applications to help manage merchandising and planning processes across its 360 stores in the UK and Ireland.

The Oracle Retail project is part of a wider strategy at JD Sports to create a standard set of best practice planning processes that will support the development and growth of the business.

"We saw a real opportunity to become highly agile in our responses to customer demands through improved planning and forecasting," said Brian Small, group finance director of the John David Group.

"It was important to improve visibility across all channels, so we wanted the ability to plan seasonal stock targets at category level to manage both top-down and bottom-up planning.

"We wanted to improve sales and profit density in stores through more accurate management of markdowns and reduced stock levels."

In the first phase of its systems roll-out, JD Sports will this year develop a standard set of best practice planning and forecasting processes to help it make strategic decisions around what to buy.

The second phase of the project, scheduled for early 2008, will enable the retailer to implement best practice around range and assortment planning, contributing to a reduction in stock levels and markdowns.