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Retail Technology, Retail technology News

White Stuff turns to Retail Assist

Wednesday January 12 2011

Modern fashion brand outsources its out-of-hours helpdesk to aid expansion

White Stuff storefrontModern fashion brand outsources its out-of-hours helpdesk to aid expansion


Fashion and lifestyle retailer White Stuff has become the latest client to outsource part of its IT support function to dedicated retail IT support specialist, Retail Assist.


White Stuff will use Retail Assist to provide an out-of-hours helpdesk service to support its shop operations nationwide during evenings and weekends.


The retailer has also retained Retail Assist to remotely monitor its servers and manage its critical SQL reporting schedules on a constant basis, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. These measures are designed to protect the consistency and resilience of business operations.


White Stuff’s expansion has included a fast-paced store opening programme. In 2004, it had 15 shops. Today it has 70 shops, with plans to open another 10 over the next six months; and it holds 100 wholesale accounts. Being a multichannel retailer, it also boasts a growing e-commerce site and catalogue business.


White Stuff head of IT, Mike Padfield, was faced with the challenge of making sure the IT function kept pace with growth, whilst controlling central IT costs.


Supporting business growth


He observed: “As the White Stuff shop estate expands and our trading hours become longer, our shop staff need to be confident that they can get support that they are accustomed to.”


Padfield decided to outsource to a specialist provider. “I knew Retail Assist was providing out-of-hours and 24/365 helpdesk services to many major retailers and had the skills to do this well. The service levels they offered us mean we can maintain the quality of our IT support, no matter how fast we grow. Furthermore, Retail Assist’s ‘shared service’ model makes this cost-effective.”


The contract also builds on Retail Assist’s experience of providing an out-of-hours helpdesk for companies such as Jane Norman and Harvey Nichols, while its remote monitoring services are used by retailers including Selfridges in the UK and A|Wear in Dublin.