New assortment management software to help specialty retailers pick and choose the right merchandise for each store or season, has been launched by Maple Lake Ltd.

It is also recommended for retailers looking to make more money by sourcing additional products (Open to Buy) and generate highly refined "what-if" scenarios.

"Research shows that many retailers have implemented - or tried to implement - an assortment management solution, and faced disappointment, if not total failure," says Stuart Aldridge, Maple Lake chief executive officer. 

"Our approach is to make assortment management as easy as using Microsoft Excel."

The software is said to give planners, merchandisers, buyers and others in the supply chain a planning tool that accelerates and automates planning processes.
"It enables retailers to create a collaborative planning environment that balances strategic goals, store plans, merchandise plans, individual item strengths and more," he says.

At specialty fashion footwear retailer Steve Madden, QuickAssortment has helped the planning approach move from sharing Excel spreadsheets and PDFs "to something more powerful and sophisticated."

"It was extremely important to keep it simple and to not intimidate all the different types of users among our 91-plus stores," says Lisa Pisano, senior vice president of planning and merchandising, explaining that the software avoids "too many functions, features or complicated steps."