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Web Exclusive | February 2016

Peter England’s retail revolution with PE Connect

Constant connectivity, contextual relevance and a multi-screen world are changing both online and offline shopping. As the digital and in-store experiences blur, it is opening up exciting new possibilities for forward-thinking retailers. In reflection of the growing excitement around convenient buying and applications, fashion labels and investors are creating and embracing newer and more accurate ways of reaching out to their partners and consumers.

Launched in India in 1997, Peter England today sells more than 10 million garments every year. Over the last 18 years of its presence in India, the brand has developed the largest apparel Distribution & Retail Network across India with presence in over 2000 stores and 350 cities. This large distribution channel makes the order placement of their products to retail partners tedious and cumbersome. The traditional method of booking orders, in the Indian apparel industry today involves printing all the SKU codes in bulky order books and then handing them over to retailers for recording their orders. Besides being process heavy, expensive and time-consuming, this method cannot make the bookings visible in real-time. There is little scope of revision once a retailer has booked the order. Even if revised, the new orders cannot be made visible in real-time.

In an endeavor to revolutionise a business that happens through a traditional way of pre-booking orders during trade shows and manual entry of orders on booking sheets, Peter England piloted and then subsequently launched its one of a kind app – PE Connect, that not only simplifies the process of pre-booking but also updates the partners on last minute booking modifications and target vs achievement tracking. With many brands and e-retailers still unable to offer a true seamless booking experience, it is no surprise partners are becoming more and more disengaged. Brands like Peter England today recognise the value of greater partner engagement, which will ultimately help them build trust and promote long term loyalty.

The pace of technological advancements within the sector is moving at a rapid rate and it is time for retailers to recognise the need in accuracy of data being punched and processed.

The app displays the products with complete color accuracy on the iPad and the catalogue content can be updated quickly and effortlessly. As a result, the brand can save on crucial time per year in preparing its sales materials and is able to adapt instantly to changes.

The Key features that drive this sales automation tool are: Complete digitization of the booking procedure; Reduced use of physical swatches to help meet customer needs on time; Reduced booking time-frame; Ability to book order from more number of retailers during the same time of trade show; Facilitates real time order generation enabling retailers optimize orders during the booking process at the venue

The desire to digitize the retail industry has certainly put pressures on existing systems and it is only set to continue. Brands like Peter England focus on their digital strategy so as to reap the benefits of today’s technology and ensure they remain one step ahead of the competition.

Peter England is the largest menswear brand in India with 10 million garments sold every year. First launched by Madura Fashion and Lifestyle (then known as Madura Garments) in the mid-price shirt segment in 1997, the company acquired the world rights for the brand in the year 2000. With offerings in the mid-priced value for money range, Peter England brings formal wear for young men in the early years of their career. The product assortment includes shirts, trousers, suits, blazers and accessories for 'Everyday' and 'Special' occasions.

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