Intersport France Enhancing Profits through Private Label

Undaunted by the challenging economic climate, sporting goods retailer
INTERSPORT France is boldly and successfully executing on a major initiative
to enhance its profit margins and strengthen its global position in the apparel realm.

Recognizing that a changing retail landscape and evolving market needs have
demonstrated escalating demand for highvalue, private-label apparel product, the
French company, with 500 sporting goods locations in the country (including 150 ski
stores) recently set a lofty goal to double the turnover of its exclusive, private-label brands
over the course of the next four years.

To facilitate its ambitious objective, INTERSPORT, which offers approximately
1,000 styles per season, recognized it needed a full PLM system, with ample evidence for
that technology need all around it: for instance, each team in the organization,
from design to shipping, had its own processes that hindered its bargaining power
with suppliers. Information across the global supply chain was shared via numerous
emails, spreadsheets and overnight packages. In addition, technical files lacked specificity
that contributed to a time-consuming - and costly - sample development process.

Nicholas Thibault, exclusive brands business unit manager, led the search process
for a PLM solution, marking the first time that technology in the company was selected
from business-oriented personnel and not the IT department. "To get our collections
into stores on schedule, we must have definitive samples or the entire season's
delivery schedule can be affected," he noted. "Yet valuable time was being lost as we went back and forth with the suppliers, answering questions or requesting changes because we provided inconsistent information in our technical-design files."

Ultimately, the company turned to Centric Software, which specializes in PLM and
sourcing solutions in the consumer goods and fashion industries, including those
globally sourcing private label.

Working together analytically and closely, Centric tailored its Centric 8 PLM solution
specifically for INTERSPORT with implementation commencing in September,
shortly after selection. "Centric's system is surprisingly easy to use and was easy to
implement." Thibault said. "The feedback from our product managers and suppliers
has been very positive, and it has been extremely simple to learn and use
by everyone."

The retailer is also realizing quantifiable results: product managers have reported a
20 percent improvement of their sample development process, and a marked reduction
in private-label product development time has already been realized; with
further usage and familiarity with the software efficiency improvements and savings
are expected to be attained.

Thibault says the company plans to implement additional modules of Centric 8 to help
it reach its four-year goal. "An on-time, onscope PLM implementation is possible," he
adds. "We did it with Centric."
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