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The fashion industry is subject to unprecedented changes with the general trend for families to decrease their clothing spend, coupled with strong pressure over profit margins. Consumer behaviour has evolved. They are more informed and versatile; they are looking for innovation and are sensitive to societal and environmental impacts. Alongside these changes, “pure-e-com” companies such as Zalando and ASOS are growing their share of market as they benefit from having smaller cost structures than traditional retailers.

Challenges in the fashion industry

These market evolutions are driving the traditional fashion industry towards business transformations in order to stay competitive. There is a need to improve attractiveness through faster product launches and total customisation.  This requires reinventing product development processes including 3D conception and “lean” cycles. Fashion companies need to determine how to transform effectively to omnichannel retailing, ensuring a perfect fluidity between sales channels throughout the entire lifecycle (one stock, OMS, real time) and offering custom-fit services guaranteeing a perfect fluidity between channels.

Further to this, there is an urgent requirement to be more socially and environmentally responsible through transparency in production processes (especially in low-cost countries) and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (IOT traceability, low carbon transportation technologies etc). There is also the need to counter demand volatility and consumer versatility and to avoid soon-to-be forbidden product destruction, driving them to develop predictive technology and supply chain agility.

How we can help with the fashion industry

We work with more than 50 of the most famous clothing brands in Europe and the USA, at every step of the value chain, from strategy to project implementation. We help with:

Logistics networks

  • Redesigning logistics networks and optimisation of transportation flows, taking the benefits of IOT technologies, real time traceability and warehouse automation
  • Lean procedures in logistics operations and stores

Process re-engineering

  • Process re-engineering from product conception to warehouse deliveries, with a mindset of reducing delays and improving quality standards

Omnichannel transformation

  • Definition and implementation of omnichannel transformation (service pallets, stock centralisation strategies and order management)


  • Collection, assortment and inventory planning and steering on both a macroscopic scale (categories and regions) and microscopic (in-store SKU) based on the best merchandise planning tools and practices
  • Installing collaborative processes with suppliers integrating material and capacity planning to shorten delays and speed-up production


  • Redefinition of sourcing strategies on a global scale and optimising procurement performances (supplier negotiation and collaboration)


  • Improving the reliability of sales forecasts using data science

Our approach

We apply a combination of technical expertise, operational experience and business knowledge to help our clients solve fashion issues and deliver lasting results. Our personal and pragmatic approach, with challenge where needed, ensures buy-in at all levels of our clients’ businesses and a successful outcome. We have worked with a wide range of organisations in the fashion industry including Burberry, Calvin Klein Inc., C. & J. Clarks Ltd., La Redoute, L Brands, Salomon, Clarks, Orsay, Sandro, Kiabi and Kenzo. Learn more about us here.

Fashion case studies

Agile operating model design

luxury fashion apparel

Agile operating model design

Calvin Klein Inc. is an American luxury fashion house specialising in lifestyle accessories, ready- to-wear apparel, leather, perfumes and watches.

The premium brand, CK205W39NYC, had a long product development cycle, high overdevelopment rate, and low productivity compared to its competitors. There was a need to re-establish the brand as a “Halo” brand to lift impact and help drive sales of other CK brands.

Our role

  • Facilitate workshops to define the principles of a target operating model for an end to end agile supply chain
  • Benchmark Calvin Klein’s current productivity by function against that of similar luxury/premium fashion houses
  • Formulate and evaluate three operating scenarios, identifying the org structure and costs of each
  • Design a new operating model enabling lead time reduction, agility and cost effectiveness


  • Identified 50% cost savings per annum and a 60% reduction in headcount, achieved by restructuring the organisation to be more design and production-centric
  • Proposed a new product lifecycle calendar across two seasons and four buying markets to supplement the seasonal core offer with monthly collections and capsules
  • Recommended a new organisation design and scale along with a timescale, resource needs and cost of implementation

DC systems requirement, selection and implementation


DC systems requirement, selection and implementation

C. & J. Clarks Ltd, founded in 1825, is a global footwear leader and the largest everyday shoe retailer in the world selling over 52 million pairs of shoes in 2016. Clarks serves all of its distribution channels (retail, wholesale and e-commerce) in the UK and Europe from its sole distribution centre in Somerset, UK.

Clarks realised that the operating support systems deployed in the highly automated facility were at the end of their useful lives and needed to be updated. Furthermore, Clarks was facing new and ever-evolving challenges from competitors and increasingly complex demands from customers.

Our role

  • Assess the current systems for risk, fit for purpose, asset utilisation and cost, recommending next steps
  • Lead an RFP process to select the WMS and WCS to deliver the solution and develop a contract negotiation strategy
  • Develop an implementation plan including timeline, budget, and resource requirements
  • Provide expert implementation support to minimise risk and ensure a smooth conversion and start-up


  • Initiated a series of actions to stabilise and minimise risks in the existing systems prior to implementation
  • Selected suppliers that best supported the e-operations design, provided the lowest cost of ownership and a platform to respond quickly to changes in the business
  • Reduced vendor costs (software and services) by over 7% through negotiation during the contracting process
  • Delivered the solution through process redesign and enabling technologies

Strategy redesign for after sales

fashion retailer

Strategy redesign for after sales

La Redoute is a French multi channel retailer founded by Joseph Pollet in 1837, it specialises in ready to wear apparel and home décor. La Redoute is the second largest seller of women’s apparel and the third largest seller of linens in France. Their e-commerce site is the top ranked French site for apparel and home decor, with more than 7 million visitors each month. The company operates in 26 countries and has more than 10 million active customers.

The company wanted a review of their after-sales strategy approach to improve performance and customer satisfaction.

Our role

  • Perform a 360° diagnostic of current after-sales organisation and identify key improvement levers
  • Define missing roles and responsibilities through gap analysis and benchmarking, which is driving low customer satisfaction
  • Frame target processes by simplifying customer path in accordance with the after-sales policies
  • Design the target performance management system and associated rituals


  • Identified four key areas of focus and a 2-step approach
  • Improved collaboration between product quality and customer relationship services, to align visions and add customer centricity in all after sales value chain
  • Customer feedback and product performance factored into supplier negotiations
  • Clarification of roles and responsibilities, leading to the creation of an after-market control tower to monitor La Redoute commitments

Distribution centre start-up rescue

beauty and personal care

Distribution centre start-up rescue

L Brands is an international retailer of personal care, beauty products, apparel and accessories through brand names Bath & Body Works, Victoria’s Secret and PINK. The company operates 2,900 company-owned specialty stores in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and China, and sold in more than 700 franchised locations worldwide. The company’s products are also available online.

The company operates multiple campuses in Columbus, OH with six highly mechanised distribution centers, in addition to a network of retail and eCom 3PLs. Our team was asked to help after a difficult start-up of a mechanised DC caused performance issues during peak season.

Our role

  • Determine how to resolve the issues having engaged in mid-peak, amidst large number of already started initiatives
  • Address a wide range of problems, from processes to equipment, systems and people
  • Advisory work with executive and operating teams to bolster communication and confidence


  • Front-end assessment established a new set of priorities for reorganising the recovery effort
  • Long list of enhancements identified in management processes, systems and capital improvements
  • Successful implementation of productivity, capacity and service improvement initiatives allowed the DC to exceed spring and fall season operating goals
  • Original design projections were reached within 18 months with widespread reengineering efforts

Multi-channel distribution centre retrofit

luxury apparel

Multi-channel distribution centre retrofit

Coach is a luxury American fashion company that designs and manufactures handbags, accessories, apparel, footwear, and other leather products. It has a large network of retail stores, a strong eCommerce presence and serves international and wholesale customers.

Steady business growth was straining storage and processing capacity. More productive processes were required to reduce the reliance on labour as the business doubles in size, and through peak demand periods.

  • Develop a plan to rearrange the facility and keep it running during the transition
  • Accommodate a Manhattan WMS upgrade
  • Develop new, more productive processes, including the redesign of direct to consumer fulfilment
  • Where possible, utilise components of the existing MHE system and its control system(s)
  • A redesigned facility, including a put-to-light module
  • Doubled processing capacity and increased storage capacity by 80%
  • Significant increase in value-added services processing capacity
  • New processes to dovetail with the WMS upgrade process and functionality