The Met adds SaaS to retail shop

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New York's Metropolitan Opera has tapped Epicor Retail SaaS to support the Met Opera Shop, a bricks-and-mortar retail business that just completed renovations in November 2008.

Epicor Retail SaaS offers CRM modules, as well as store, merchandising, audit and operations management tools. The Epicor system was selected by the Met for its multiple offerings and because it can be integrated with the Opera's existing technology.

The software company's experience with specialty retail and its speedy implementation probably helped seal the deal as well: Epicor's other retail clients include Zales, Ann Taylor and American Eagle Outfitters, and most Epicor projects are up and running within four months.

The Met Opera Store offers classical music CDs, DVDs, and opera-related books, as well as jewelry, chocolates, children's gifts and hand-crafted figurines tied to Met productions.

"We have created a distinct collection of merchandise that is tied to opera or the Met in interesting ways," Tam Terry, who oversees the Met's merchandising efforts, said in a statement on the renovated store. "We want people to feel connected to the experience of the opera house. And the new design makes the store feel like part of the public space."

Improved retail operations and deeper customer engagement could prove a boon to the Met this season, as the economy takes its toll on ticket sales and donations. The New York Times reports that the opera's endowment — previously valued at $300 million — is down by a third this year.

Adding additional customer touchpoints, and points of management for a retail software system, is an online version of the Met Opera Shop slated to relaunch this year.

Neither Epicor nor the Metropolitan Opera had returned requests for comment as of press time.

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