Tory Burch Modernizes Assortment Planning with Sky IT

2/21/2013
Bold prints and the double-T logo medallion are hallmarks of the affordable luxury Tory Burch brand, which appeals to women ranging from working professionals to soccer moms. As the brand expands its merchandise categories, it continues to gain more attention from consumers, putting pressure on Tory Burch to guarantee it can meet this demand.

Already planning its chain's assortments according to consumer shopping patterns and inventory data, the company is working to gain more visibility across its other business divisions, wholesale and international. By adopting a point-of-sale-based reporting solution that provides timely visibility into customer demand, Tory Burch is primed to deliver more precise, tailored product allocations across its enterprise.

Tory Burch set out in 2004 to create a lifestyle concept including ready-to-wear, handbags, shoes and jewelry. Inspired by her love for art, music, culture and travel, her brand is synonymous with graphic prints, bold colors and unique, signature detail.

Fast-forward eight years, and Tory Burch is now a brand sold across a 67-store chain, as well as in 1,000 department and specialty stores, including Bloomingdales, Holt Renfrew, Nordstrom, Bergdorf Goodman, Shopbop, Lane Crawford and Saks Fifth Avenue, globally.

Managing relationships with these retailers is the job of the company's wholesale division — and is a crucial component of the brand's growth. However, without insight into POS and transaction data from retail partners, "we're not able to tell how well our products are selling across their locations," said Mike Giresi, CIO, Tory Burch.

Historically, department and specialty retail partners provided Tory Burch with merchandise reports, created in Excel, illustrating sales on the size- and color-level, but this data didn't delve into specific sales across specific stores or regions. Also, sales representatives would spend four hours weekly, manually combining Excel reports and applying dedicated formulas just to understand how certain unit colors and styles sold for a specific week across the chain. These data sources had to be quickly integrated into a central merchandising analysis tool that users could easily access and use to analyze the selling performance so as to determine merchandising actions for the coming week.

"It was a time consuming process, and once it was complete in one category, such as ready-to-wear, we had to apply the same process two more times — once for shoes, and another for jewelry and accessories," he explained. "Even with this information, we still could not get the granular data we needed to streamline our assortments."

Tory Burch realized it needed clean and complete retail selling and inventory information, and that UPC detail was required to competitively plan, adapt and move goods through the chain faster than ever before. The company required data collection from many types of data sources and formats that at the time were not available in a timely manner, including retailer portals, merchant
spreadsheets and PDFs.

To resolve this issue, Tory Burch partnered with Sky IT Group, a New York City-based company that provides a POS-based reporting program, giving each manager in the wholesale channel timely visibility into the customer demand and inventory data needed to drive precise in-season management, synchronized production and delivery cycles, tailored product allocations and enhanced retailer-vendor collaboration. The SKYPAD platform allows Tory Burch to drill down to specific information, including particular style, color or size and understand how this item is selling at individual stores.

The wholesale division is live with the solution, and the new process has improved assortment planning and eliminated the need for a dedicated associate to manage and compile this data. Tory Burch is currently adding its international operations onto the system.

The next step is to take the same measures to bring its retail division onto the solution, so that it can streamline the sales information by category. By having all three operating groups on the system, the brand will be able to more easily compare sales across its major product categories week-over-week. Tory Burch went live on all three divisions last summer.
— Deena M. Amato-McCoy

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