In the current economic downturn, retailers have been hit particularly hard. Retailers that continue to innovate and explore new opportunities in pricing, sourcing, inventory management and assortment management will position themselves to compete even more strongly as the economy recovers. Retailers can be far more competitive by consistently meeting customers' changing expectations: A localized assortment strategy is one of the ways to continue being agile and gain customer loyalty. Local market assortments improve enhance sales performance by enabling  decisions that attract and retain high-value customers.

Assortment Planning is another area that Microsoft can leverage partner solutions to deliver value to customers. SilkOak Solutions Planning Prophet is one such solution.