Snow Queen wanted to reduce its seasonal dependency on the sale of expensive furs. With improved planning that considered the characteristics of each assortment, the retail chain hoped to boost sales of its casual clothing and create a more even revenue stream throughout the year. The new planning processes would need to be automated and run on a single platform.
SolutionWeigandt Consulting developed a full planning solution, from the retailer’s strategic goals through to its purchasing plan. Assortment specifics were taken into account:
- Furs: long lifecycle and high price
- Outerwear: seasonality and regional climate
- Sales volume
- Inventory at the end of each season
- Discount volume
By taking advantage of Snow Queen stores located close to each other, the furs assortment planning solution allocates items across stores. This optimises the use of retail space and helps ensure that sales are not lost if a desired item is not in a specific store at a specific time, since the item can easily be sent to the customer at another store, as needed.
The outerwear assortment planning solution takes climatic zones and seasonal differences into account. For instance, when down coats are selling in Siberia, leather jackets are being sold in the southern regions. In addition, optimal size ranges for each line are highlighted by the solution. This is based on previous sales data of similar products and addresses the challenge of high inventory at the end of each season.
ResultsWith its new automated planning processes Snow Queen has reduced costs, reduced the duration of the planning cycle and has improved the accuracy of its plans. The planning process can now start later, once the business users have a complete set of data for the current season.
The solution allows the retailer to more effectively manage its retail space without losing sight of the factors that are important to furs and outerwear. The assortment and allocation of items across the stores can now be planned at the purchasing stage.
By using its new planning solution, Snow Queen has reduced the volume of inventory at the end of the season and increased sales margins. The desire to reduced dependency on the sale of furs has also been achieved. Perhaps most importantly, revenues have increased and have become more consistent throughout the year.
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