Retail & Distribution

From beta tester to backbone of their stores – Crew Clothing expands Cegid partnership

Premium British lifestyle label, Crew Clothing has been a user of Cegid Retail Store Excellence since 2009 when the company was an early beta tester with just 70 stores. Since then, the retailer has grown to 105 stores with ambitious plans to bring more of its coastal spirit to new locations and credits Cegid Retail Store Excellence as a key tool in supporting retail operations as it grows.

 

The challenge

Retail operations have become increasingly complex with in-store teams required to juggle multiple tasks and compliance requirements in addition to serving the customer. These competing priorities have meant that head office teams need a more efficient way to communicate with field and store teams and help them manage their tasks more efficiently.

It was for this reason that Cegid Retail Store Excellence was created with Crew Clothing being one of the first customer’s that helped shape it into the tool it is today.

 

Solving retail operations challenges

As an early adopter, Crew Clothing originally used the platform as a visual merchandising tool. Teams used it to launch campaigns and gather photographs from stores. It also helped field teams to have eyes on the stores without needing to visit directly.

As the platform evolved, so too did the use cases and now Crew Clothing uses Cegid Retail Store Excellence for tasking, forms, surveys and much more as Charlotte Eaves, Retail Operations and Customer Experience Manager for Crew Clothing explains; “As Cegid Retail Store Excellence has developed, we’ve steadily increased and adopted many of the new features that have come out.”

 

 

Keeping stores in sync with head office

The platforms Activity Planner feature, introduced two years ago, is just one of the many features that Eaves credits as helping head office teams share updates with stores at the same time and ensure that messages have been seen.

“It’s absolutely their gospel of information for anything they need to know on a daily basis. Most stores use it at least a few times a day. It’s their administrative tool to hear from us more centrally, receive training updates, look at the planner to see what’s coming up and any tasking, surveys or forms that need completing,” said Eaves. “The Activity Planner feature has been really beneficial, and the tasking has been phenomenally useful to get more than 100 stores to do the same thing and to get that level of compliance straight away.”

More recently, Crew Clothing has rolled out Newsfeed, a social feature that helps staff stay informed about what’s happening in stores and share their own news. Within two months of launching the feature, they saw phenomenal engagement. Over the past 30 days there have been 139 posts and 1,517 opens of the newsfeed from 233 users.

 

Planning for peak

The automation around tasking along with checklists for daily, weekly and monthly compliance also makes planning for peak simple as Eaves explains; “As we go into peak and it gets busier, knowing those things are in hand and that stores must tick them is beneficial to us. Some of our stores in tourist destinations like Padstow don’t see a Christmas peak as such, they see a huge peak over the summer holidays. It helps to be able to segment those stores so we can communicate exclusively with them without needing to share messaging across the whole group where it might not be applicable.”

 

Results

Cegid Retail Store Excellence has revolutionised how Crew Clothing approaches retail operations. It’s also used by more departments than just retail operations. This includes branch merchandising, logistics and finance, which means employees have access to the best person placed to answer their query. As Eaves add; “Pretty much every department is interacting with stores through the platform. So with department tasks, if a store sends a query, we effectively have mini help desks that can interact with them.”

Accountability is another key benefit as Eaves adds; “Say a regional manager or area manager is going into a store the next day. They can instantly go into the dashboard to see that store and see what if anything is outstanding. So, it helps with that accountability piece. That area manager or regional manager has instant visibility of how much a store is keeping on top of their own tasking.”

While there are multiple benefits to embedding Cegid Retail Store Excellence into Crew Clothing’s retail operations, there is one benefit that outweighs all others as Eaves explains; “The biggest thing for us is the ease of being able to do that compliance piece. If we have a problem store or area, it really helps our teams. Especially as we’re growing fast. From a field perspective it helps the teams with that visibility. They can be in one place but know what 30 stores are doing. Cegid Retail Store Excellence has helped to facilitate the growth in our regions and given the ability for our regional managers to govern a larger group of stores.”