International Retail Expansion

Company

A leading retailer with more than 300 locations in the United States has been focused on its international expansion efforts over the last few years. The Ohio-based company focuses on casual wear for consumers aged 18 to 22. In addition to its title brand, the company’s operations include three other family brands.

Challenge

Starting in 2009, the company partnered with Planes Specialized Logistics to manage specific white glove services for their retail store needs, initially focused on providing blanket wrap services for retail fixtures and equipment. This client quickly voiced challenges to Planes regarding their store open­ings and refreshes. On store fixture set-up days, the retailer repeatedly faced issues of missing inventory and significant wait times for truck deliveries and set-up. These wait times and inventory problems caused increased store opening expenses and wasted valuable time the stores could have been open for customers.

 

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Solution

To solve these challenges, Planes Specialized Logistics advised the company to create a new plan for inven­tory control. This included the coordination of supplies for store openings from various manufacturers into a centralized Planes warehouse, controlled forecasting of the inventory needed at the various store locations, tracking of purchase orders, the management of inventory delivery, and on-site coordination directed by a Planes Project Manager.

Planes has replicated this expert chain of custody for inventory control global­ly as the retailer has expanded to new international locations. With logistics and warehousing capabilities around the world, Planes Specialized Logistics has discovered local providers for their brand-spe­cific store items. This new sourcing strategy has enabled the retailer’s procurement teams to work with the best local suppliers, and utilize the same inventory control system that was originally created with tremendous success in the United States.

With the added ability to view real-time inventory data, the Planes Specialized Logistics team provid­ed enhanced information and inventory accountability to the client, resulting in easier and more controlled management of financial transactions and assets. The chain of custody for their store fixtures and equipment has grown much tighter, greatly reducing the exception logs for store openings and the wasted time and money in expediting the delivery of missing inventory.  Planes Specialized Logis­tics has integrated seamlessly with the brand visualization team at the retailer, consistently and accurately representing the brand needs on-site for store openings.

 

“Hong Kong was probably the most trying project that our company has ever worked on. Our chances of getting this complete on time, even as of 3 weeks ago, was slim and none.

All of that being said, we would have never pulled this off without the extraordinary efforts of Brian (Planes Specialized Logistics Project Manager). What he did here with his team was incredible. His flexibility with us, bringing fixtures in through a war zone without complaining, having to wait until the last minute to fixture the lower ground floor and making it happen in a short order are just a few examples. He did things 2, 3, and 4 times – whatever was asked of him. All the while keeping a very positive attitude.

I cannot oversell how huge Brian’s contribution was. He is a tremendous team player and I want him involved on all of my future projects if possible.”

Eric R., Store Planning