A Cut Above
A high-energy CEO, Alpert remains a true entrepreneur who’s always looking three steps ahead. Her co-captain and brother-in-law Jay Alpert, Terri’s partner and the company’s president, helps navigate the changing current.
“Back in 2000 or 2001, when I was bemoaning that we had created all this infrastructure for a flawed business model — a business built on selling other people’s brands,” Terri Alpert explains. “Jay made the two of us take a closer look at our core competencies. He showed me that our infrastructure and our catalog expertise, that didn’t exist back in 1993, could lead to a new business model if only we designed it from a blank sheet of paper.”
On working with her brother-in-law, “It’s been a good partnership,” Terri says. “We really go after each other’s ideas. He’s more grounded, more middle of the road.”
Proprietary Matchback SW
The in-law team uses this drive and determination to innovate. Take the company’s proprietary software that Terri Alpert, a former Wall Street IT manager, built from scratch. “I didn’t set out to create my own business with the idea of creating my own software,” she says. “But I had the ability and the vision. And what began as a temporary solution, a stop-gap really, kept evolving. It’s one of the reasons we’re still here.”
The software conducts instantaneous square-inch analysis. In just seconds, it shows how merchandise categories trend over time or how categories without price-point bands trend. It shows how new products perform vs. continuation items for any category, subcategory, vendor or price point.
What’s more, it helps keep merchants from getting blinded by square-inch performance. It highlights best-selling products in terms of absolute sales dollars and units. “This allows us to spend more time using information to make decisions and a lot less time gathering information,” Terri Alpert says. “Because our information is in real time and there’s no need to gather it, we’re using the latest facts.” A separate company she set up, PCD Technologies LLC, owns the Internet protocol for all of this proprietary software.