I was sitting down with a luxury fashion-house the other day to discuss some of the planning issues they currently have, which is actually more common in the luxury industry than one would think.
They have built their reputation by providing haute couture and ready-to-wear clothes, luxury goods and fashion accessories to women internationally. This rapidly growing luxury brand is over $4B+ USD in revenue and operates more than 200 stores worldwide in addition to its wholesale business with concessions in large retailers as well as operating on their online platform, which is starting to expand to e-commerce for some of their core divisions. The company excels at delivering superior quality, excellence in design and a differentiated brand experience that allows for them to gain exposure and an extremely loyal clientele.
One of the main problems this company faces in their growth is wrapped around their planning. They operate three major divisions, but they are currently lacking visibility into their Open To Buy and Forecasting. Because their business is a strong replenishment business, having visibility into a bottoms-up approach by door is required to accurately forecast.
Today, the planning team does not have this. In order to optimize each store’s merchandise to meet customers’ needs and demand, the retailer needs to improve their pre-season and in-season management process. Most retailers do not have a granular level of detail into their planning by division, department and class, because it's simply not necessary. Because this luxury retailers success is dependent on placing the right product, at the right place, at the right time- they need the ability to manage their business down to a lower level of detail.
To support a more strategic approach to its merchandise planning process, the retailer needs a tool that creates a single unified model across all divisions with the ability to slice and dice by any dimensional structure (i.e., products, stores, price, style, season code, time, etc.)
Photo by: Paris In Four Months