- Bob Moullette, Assistant General Manager
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When the New Orleans Zephyrs rebranded for the 2017 season, becoming the New Orleans Baby Cakes, the minor league baseball team faced the challenge of not only getting the new name out but also of promoting entirely new team merchandise.
For Baby Cakes Baseball, moving from the Zephyrs' navy with grey fleur de lis to the Baby Cakes' Mardi Gras colors of green, purple and gold with the "determined baby" logo, meant the distinct possibility of many sales of jerseys, hats and other memorabilia as fans prepared to cheer on their hometown team. Bob Moullette, Assistant General Manager, was brought on to manage The Cakes Shop after nearly a decade of retail management with Abercrombie & Fitch.
With a new name and new management to launch this new in-stadium store for the Baby Cakes, the company adopted the latest software from Retail Pro, Retail Pro Prism.
The Baby Cakes team has both a brick and mortar and online store, as well as a pop-up shop for community events, and is working toward unifying commerce on the Retail Pro Prism software platform.
On any given game night, they run three Retail Pro Prism POS stations – touchscreen, for faster transactions – and they use the Retail Pro Prism app on an iPad with a mobile payments sled, to give associates greater flexibility to help and ring up customers right from the sales floor.
"Many of the customers know what they want, but there are some that really benefit from having a sales associate make them feel more comfortable in the store and to help them find what they're looking for," Moullette said.
The Cakes Shop also benefited from robust inventory and order management capabilities in Retail Pro: "We use one inventory for both the store and online orders, and fulfill online orders from the store," Moullette said. "We get much higher sell-through and inventory turnover that way."
Moullette told the New Orleans Advocate last April that the team already passed its in-stadium merchandise sales from all of the previous season, and that it ranked in the top five of minor league baseball in terms of merchandise sales. Within 36 hours of their ecommerce site's unveiling, The Cakes Shop had more than 400 orders online.
Managing those sales requires software that looks at sales metrics in real-time, and those figures are used to motivate associates to reach nightly sales goals. The Cakes Shop leverages Retail Pro Prism POS to get performance data including sales by hour, margin percent, units per event, sales per cap, and many more KPIs.
The mobile POS is also used at their pop-up shop and has been customized to accommodate a particular tax scenario: the stadium is tax-exempt, but the store must charge tax when they're selling merchandise at events outside the stadium.
"We make a point to show up at Mardi gras, family gras, etc. events with our team merchandise. It's a great way to be more in the local community, and you're reinforcing and building your fan base this way," said Moullette.
With Retail Pro, The Cakes Shop had the flexibility to improve efficiency by customizing a single instance of their software to meet this need, rather than running all stations with the same functionality when it was not needed.
Their Retail Pro Business Partner, R-Tech, played a major role in helping Moullette and his team get their store outfitted with the best technology.
"We love the team at R-Tech. They're proactive and work remotely to help us get support whenever we need it, which is critical when your busiest operations are after normal business hours," Moullette commented.
With so much community involvement, the team store has an automatic audience — but it's still up to the store to keep their customers' interest.
Today's fan has many choices of where to buy a cap or jersey, etc.— so stadium stores must constantly evolve to meet customers' tastes and create a customer experience that provides something for that fan who has "everything."
Deep reporting in Retail Pro Prism helps The Cakes Shop target and engage with VIPs, so the team can have fun merchandise unveiling events for those loyal customers, arranged by the team's Account Executive, Maggie Schleismann.
"The Cakes Shop is a destination location and our big goal is to make it an experience fans will want to repeat. We want to give an unparalleled experience, so customers will love being in the store, getting the best quality merchandise," Moullette said. "The in-store experience drives sales, and we built ours on Retail Pro Prism."