Developing an agile strategy post-pandemic

Updated: Mar 26


A national designer kids-wear retailer has become more agile due to the pandemic, working with GFAIVE on its omnichannel sales distribution.

Problem:


This retailer, known for its outerwear, was used to relying on legacy merchandise planning so when the Covid-19 pandemic happened, its previous year’s benchmarks were no longer valid. The company did not know what its demand forecasts would be and how to plan for a post-covid shopping environment. As the market changed, the company realised that traditional analytics and approaches to merchandise planning weren’t applicable anymore and so it looked to innovate the process.


Solution: 


By working closely with the client, GFAIVE developed a tool that would help plan an optimal assortment balance for upcoming seasons. This tool was designed as a simulator and provided the capability to run multiple scenarios and evaluate several possible outcomes, by changing target KPIs, assortment depth and collection introduction dates. Furthermore, by comparing different scenario optimisation results, the client could gain insights into how the future demand will affect their revenue and make decisions on how to structure future collections in order to maximise sales margin in our uncertain times.


Results:


The very first takeaway from using the optimisation tool was a recommendation to decrease shoes and accessories assortment by 15-30%; while still being able to increase profit margin within the category.


Depending on different scenarios, the client was presented an opportunity to optimise their assortment by 3% to 20% in the near future and beyond (even if sales were to drop by half).


As an added feature the tool provided recommendations on what design attributes (color, style

silhouette) would be in demand for the upcoming season.


The client implemented an easy-to-use assortment optimisation engine that they were comfortable using and trusted would help them make informative data-driven decisions about the future. The GFAIVE signature tool also helped them save valuable time and make planning more efficient.


We are happy to report that the company was not only able to reach their set KPI margin levels but even observed a positive growth compared to the pre-pandemic figures.

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