Seventy Three Retail Ltd is a dynamic and forward-thinking young fashion brand. The company specialises in the outdoors lifestyle and is a premium UK franchise partner for Timberland and The North Face, as well as Havaianas, the iconic Brazilian flip-flop brand.
Seventy Three Retail Ltd was established in 2010 by founding partners Luke Underhill and James Pascoe, both previously from Crew Clothing. With their previous experience of Futura’s robust and reliable retail management platform, they chose Futura’s software (using Sango and Odyssey tills from Aures) to provide a powerful, easy to use, EPOS solution which included core head office functionality to support buying, merchandising, stock management and reporting.
Seventy Three Retail Ltd wanted to standardise its retail solution in 2011 and Futura’s flexible and scalable technology enabled them to do exactly that. Now with over 35 stores across the UK, full online integration with its website has been achieved, along with further sophistication to help manage the company’s rapidly-growing franchise operations. Maintaining its cutting edge, Seventy Three Retail Ltd was one of the first retailers to use an email receipt service for customers at the point of sale. This is enabled by the integration of Futura’s software with a third-party supplier, Y-Receipts.
In a competitive marketplace crowded with global brands, Seventy Three Retail Ltd needed to demonstrate its ability to add value to its exclusive UK franchise partnership with Timberland and The North Face as well as other brands. It needed to ensure efficient customer data capture to encourage repeat sales and customer feedback – online as well as instore. A multifaceted business model, Seventy Three Retail Ltd had to be able to rely on its IT platform for a smooth, reliable and robust interface between its franchise partners, suppliers, head office, stores and warehouses.
A powerful EPOS and inventory control solution including all the functionality needed to support Seventy Three Retail Ltd’s buying, merchandising, stock management and reporting was required. For example, stock allocation or replenishment from warehouse to stores and web is straightforward to manage, along with inter-branch transfers, for which there is a visible audit trail.
Other functionality was added later, as the need grew to manage greater complexity in the company’s business operations. At the heart of Seventy Three Retail Ltd’s system is Futura’s electronic data interface (“EDI”) technology which enables instant electronic messaging between computer systems to manage information flow. With EDI, business documentation and data entry tasks that are normally time consuming including purchase orders, invoices and dispatch notes, are completely automated, improving accuracy and responsiveness.
Futura’s EDI is configured to EDIFACT, the ISO standard, making interaction with Seventy Three Retail Ltd’s partners and third party suppliers very straightforward. A few moderations to Futura and eBiss systems have enabled the automatic transmission of daily sales information and weekly stock information. Seventy Three Retail Ltd also uses the intermediate mailbox eGate, provided by Pranke, to communicate with partners such as The North Face. Data also needed to be shared internally between applications in different areas of the business.
Web API (Application Programming Interface) enables seamless integration between channels and improves the online experience with a fast, real-time response. Futura’s API provides real-time communication of stock and item information, customer creation and search, order creation, modification, payment, gift card sales, redemption and balance check, plus click and collect, and click and reserve – a complete solution with everything an effective omni-channel architecture requires.
By linking online and in–store records, Futura provides live information about stock availability to all touch points in the business. It enables a customer to start a transaction online and then continue to modify details in store or online, at another time and place. It can prevent duplication of customer records containing different sales histories and eliminates the need for manual reconciliation.
Data captured is used to produce mailings. Futura captures customer data at a transactional level and this can be interrogated to understand the customer’s spending habits, their demographic profile, etc. This data can then be fed into the CRM system of third party supplier Teradata for targeted mailshots. Teradata can create mailing lists, refine the data, ensure compliance and provide analytics.
Giftcards are redeemable instore, with online redemption – an enhancement that can be added when required.
Futura’s technology helps Seventy Three Retail Ltd to add value and create competitive advantage in its relationships with partners, stores and customers. Its retail solutions can be rolled out quickly. The beauty in the software design is that it is intuitive, quick to learn and easy to use.
Speed is essential in the highly-competitive fashion industry. Futura’s EDI eliminates paper trails and speeds up data entry to reduce costs and achieve shorter order cycle times. By automating the exchange of sales and other information with its trading partners, Seventy Three Retail Ltd maximises the speed of its response by streamlining inventory management and limiting stock exposure. Interrogation of real-time data also enables budgets to be forecast and fact-based merchandising decisions to be made in a timely manner.
Futura’s standard web API makes it easy for Seventy Three Retail Ltd’s franchise partners to integrate its website. Far less time is spent managing issues and maintenance, freeing up Seventy Three Retail Ltd’s operational resources. There is also greatly reduced risk of overselling, thanks to the live, real-time stock data. With a central single view of customers, analysis can be improved and marketing is less wasteful. If required the same API can be used to give Seventy Three Retail Ltd access to other online marketplaces, without the need to manage multiple complex integrations.
Y-Receipts have added another dimension to Seventy Three Retail Ltd’s customer service. They ensure better customer data capture, which in turn makes shopping easier. Sales can be increased by promoting extended ranges available online or in store, enabling a higher percentage of goods to be sold at 100% and inventory to be reduced more quickly. The receipts encourage immediate customer interaction, deepening the relationship with the Seventy Three Retail Ltd brand. Such customer feedback is of immeasurable value to Seventy Three Retail Ltd and its retail partners. It helps them to predict demand and respond to emerging trends.
Tina is Marketing Director of POS experts Futura Retail Solutions Limited.