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Aurora Fashions consolidates supply chain

By Retail Technology | Tuesday March 12 2013

Coast, Oasis, Warehouse brand owner and Karen Millen will use new integrated merchandising and warehousing capabilities to drive omnichannel strategy

The brands Coast, Oasis, Warehouse and Karen Millen have selected the Merret supply chain system from Retail Assist to fuel further omni-channel and international growth. 

Mike Shearwood, Aurora Fashions chief executive, said: “Each of the brands has distinct strategies and business drivers, and requires a solution to underpin these exciting advances in an omni-channel world. Retail Assist has proven experience of working with recognised brands and we look forward to growing our business with them.”

Following a competitive tender process, the womenswear fashion brands will use Merret to underpin their future strategies with its multiple channel functionality, scalability and international trading foundations, working from a central stock pool. 

Building on existing partnership

Ish Patel, Aurora Fashions group omnichannel director, added: “The decision to implement Merret was centred on its capability to readily support our omnichannel vision, so we know it will give us the best results possible when it comes to delivering a consistent and integrated approach across our numerous channels and customer touchpoints.”

Patel pointed to the fact that Merret is able to work across multiple territories, currencies, languages and channels, and enhance the company’s global growth strategies. “We felt this was the best solution to support Coast, Oasis, Warehouse and Karen Millen for future growth in a climate that is so heavily reliant on agility and flexibility to succeed,” he added.

Retail Assist already provides the group with IT support, following the outsourcing of Aurora Fashions’ IT Team in 2011, through a partnership that includes their Ra-X data exchange and managed helpdesk services (p34, Retail Technology November/December 2011 issue). The companies will now implement Merret across the group’s 2,017 sites.

Richard Glanville, Aurora Fashions chief financial officer, added: “Merret is set to deliver excellent returns for us through not only a lean total cost of ownership, but more strategically by enabling each of the brand businesses to further refine and optimise inventory across all channels."

Optimising processes across group

Only last week the company outlined the next phase of a fundamental reshaping of its businesses, which first saw Karen Millen spun off as an independent business last year, to create a more agile business structure and enable the brands to further embrace omnichannel strategies.

Coast will emerge as a standalone business and Oasis and Warehouse will be established under a single parent company, called Fresh Channel. 

Coast will become an independent company, building on its position as an occasionwear specialist, with more flagship openings, an innovative new website and continued international expansion.

Other retailers that also use Merret include ASOS, Paperchase, Whistles, Mint Velvet (p36, Retail Technology March/April 2011 issue) and the Jacques Vert Group (p8, Retail Technology March/April 2013 issue).

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