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Retail Technology, Retail technology News

Whistles implements Merret

Thursday May 19 2011

Reinvented fashion brand deploys supply chain solution as part of an IT infrastructure project to enable its independent status

Reinvented fashion brand deploys supply chain solution as part of an IT infrastructure project to enable its independent status


Fashion retailer Whistles has contracted with Retail Assist to help deliver an entire IT infrastructure following its purchase from Mosaic Fashions, which went into administration in 2009.


Whistles required new systems to enable autonomy from former IT supplier Aurora, the group formed following the buyout of Mosaic Fashions.


As part of a multi-faceted deal, Whistles has selected Retail Assist’s Merret merchandising and warehousing solution, featuring a business intelligence (BI) and corporate performance management (CPM) module from BOARD, to power its new distribution centre (DC) managed by Clipper Logistics.


Supporting multichannel supply


The Merret application forms part of an integrated IT solution, and will drive the multichannel business forward through interfaces to Whistles’ BT Fresca e-commerce website, the upgraded BT Expedite Store 6 electronic point-of-sale (EPoS) software in Whistles’ shops, and store systems in multiple concession partners including Selfridges, Brown Thomas, Fenwicks, House of Fraser and John Lewis.


The technical architecture provided by Retail Assist includes email systems for all users and stores, an active directory, intranet and SQL servers following the migration from previous supplier Aurora. All of Whistles’ new core servers are now hosted at Retail Assist’s Northampton data centre.


Maintaining best-of-breed optimisation


David Mold, Whistles’ IT and logistics director, commented: “Having a best-of-breed solution – Merret – for both merchandising and warehouse management gives the optimal solution for both business areas through richer functionality, provides operational improvements, seamless integration of systems, and also reduces overheads when compared with the option of having separate systems looking after our new DC.”


The entire IT infrastructure was created and implemented in under six months. Yet to fulfil the highly seasonal nature of Whistles’ fashion business, purchase orders had to be raised using Merret only two months after the project was kicked off, to order stock that needed to be delivered to the new Whistles warehouse.


Mold added: “The solution delivered provides Whistles with the desired IT infrastructure tailored to our unique ‘retail DNA’. The systems will supply the management team with intelligent information to assist strategic decision-making.”