Hobbs boosts performance with Prologic’s Fashion Line Merchandising

Contemporary British designer fashion brand Hobbs, has announced improved performance and time saving benefits following the successful implementation of Prologic’s Fashion Line Merchandising solution (FLM) during 2011.


The issue of stock shortages in best performing stores is common to all fashion retailers. This results in lower rate of sale stores holding excess stock and higher levels of markdown at the end of the season. Fashion Line Merchandising has significantly reduced this issue for Hobbs.


Prologic’s FLM enables fashion retailers to fully optimise stock levels across stores, reducing range fragmentation, maximising potential for full-price sell through and minimising exposure to unnecessary stock markdown. Because FLM automates and continuously updates stock plans, Hobbs can now quickly react to sales performances of individual lines and intelligently fine-tune stock levels across its entire store and concession estate and website.


Since the successful implementation of FLM, Hobbs has seen a number of benefits:


Stock levels and size availability have improved significantly and are now more closely aligned with the sales mix performance, which has resulted in a higher full price sell through. Susan Millin, Merchandising Director at Hobbs is delighted with the results: “FLM has significantly improved availability in our 30 best performing stores.”


Hobbs has also seen a significant reduction in the amount of time spent by the branch merchandising team manually potentialising store level replenishment. What was once a time consuming and manual process has now become more automated. FLM automatically manages and optimises plans for all stores and all products in line with sales performance, allowing time for the team to concentrate on managing exceptional performance by line and by store. Millin confirms: “The implementation of FLM has enabled us to set parameters so that we automatically review sales and stock data for the entire range at size level each week – a situation that was not achievable with our branch merchandising resource before the implementation of FLM.”


Initial stock allocation has also improved. Millin explains: “FLM has given us the confidence to reduce our initial allocations by up to 25% as we are confident that FLM will focus the replenishment onto the best selling stores for each line, based on actual performance rather than pre-set store or category gradings.” As a result Hobbs is not left with excess terminal stock, therefore reducing its markdown spend.


“A typical FLM managed line is now available for replenishment to our top performing stores for significantly longer that it was previously,” explains Millin. “This means we maintain a credible display to the customer for longer and have a greater opportunity to achieve a higher full price sell through.” Millin concludes: “It’s exciting to understand that we can also look forward to ongoing improvements as we continue to fine tune our use of the solution.”


Commenting on the results of the implementation, Tom Fisher, CEO at Prologic says: “Optimising stock performance is critical for all retailers, yet few get it right, particularly in fashion retailing where range and size options make the task more complex. I’m delighted that Hobbs is one of a growing number of fashion retailers choosing Fashion Line Merchandising to automate and apply rigour to this critical business area to ensure that stock profitability is optimised.”


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