House of Fraser has been able to cut its stock levels and boost its gross margins by linking shelf and space planning software into stock ordering systems, to give better visibility of its sales for every store for every week.
The department store group benefited from the greater visibility of its sales for the first time this year after beginning the implementation of new software in 2003.
The Store Planning application from software supplier Smart VM is the final planning tool that House of Fraser has implemented in an overhaul of its merchandising systems.
The retailer has integrated its planning, replenishment, assortment and space planning tools into one system called Merchandise Planner. This gives House of Fraser a single view of its sales plans.
Director of planning and trading at House of Fraser, Peter Callaway, said, “Through the combined system that we have put in, we have a full-range planning process. That process feeds automatically into our proprietary system for ordering products.”
Merchandise Planner is supplied by US-based supply chain management firm i-2, and links to the proprietary merchandise execution system called Mercatus.
House of Fraser has been using the integrated planning tools to reduce stock levels at 46 of its 61 stores.
The other 15 stores, which were acquired when House of Fraser bought both Beatties and Jenners last year, will go live at the start of the autumn/winter fashion season.
The 11 stores in the Beatties group went live with House of Fraser’s fashion buying system earlier this year.