Richard von Hirschberg, Chairman of the Board with Columbus Consulting, is a Merchandising Process and Systems specialist with more than 30 years of experience in design, development and implementation of various market leading merchandising solutions. He has provided strategic advice to numerous US and International retailers. He drives optimal design and implementation of merchandising processes and systems with deep domain in the functional areas of Merchandise Planning, Assortment Planning, and Allocation.
Prior to joining Columbus, Richard headed up the original development teams of two of the world’s leading Merchandise Planning systems: Arthur and i2 Merchandise Planner. He has had management and executive responsibility for marketing and product strategy with four US software companies involved in the development of supply chain and merchandising systems: IBM, ProfitLogic, AllPoints Systems, and EXE Technologies.
- Redesigned business processes and implemented Oracle Merchandise Planning, and Assortment Planning for department store.
- Redesigned business processes and implemented JDA Allocation for an online specialty apparel retailer.
- Redesigned process blueprint for store planning organization within a specialty apparel retailer.
- Advised executive team on tactical and strategic system investments for a German department store.
- Program manager and principal subject matter expert for several projects to implement JDA’s Assortment Planning application (BAM) and Oracle’s Merchandise Planning application (RPAS) across several subsidiaries of a large off-priced retailer.
- Developed process blueprint for pre- and in-season merchandising processes for specialty apparel retailer.
- Developed process blueprint for store and merchandise planning for specialty apparel retailer.
- Expert Advisor to Chief Planning Officer on major merchandising systems program for a South African specialty retailer.
- Expert advisor to Assortment Planning project team for a South African department store.
- Strategic advisor to executive team on merchandise process and system investments for South African retailer.
- Held executive positions for numerous software companies supporting price optimization and planning solutions.
- Executive positions for software companies
- Founder and Managing director of a software company that developed and launched a Merchandise Planning solution
- Retail Systems Development Manager and founder of, the development team that developed original version of Arthur Merchandise Planning.
- American Eagle
- Chico’s FAS
- Edcon (S. Africa)
- George (UK)
- Harold’s Stores
- Mr. Price Group
- Saks Incorporated
- Tory Burch
- Woolworth South Africa
- Ann Taylor
- ASDA (UK)
- Foschini (South Africa)
- American Swiss Jewelers (South Africa)
- House of Fraser (UK)
- Hoogenbosch (Holland)
- Richards Stores (UK)
- Eddie Bauer
- JC Penney
Education and Certification
University of Cape Town (South Africa) – B.com (Accounting)
University of Cape Town (South Africa) – BA (Psychology)
University of Cape Town (South Africa) – Post-Graduate Degree in Information systems