Case Study: Intimate Apparel Repackaging Project
"Lawrence Merchandising Transforms Brand"
A global apparel and sporting goods manufacturer identified a need for the project deployment of additional merchandising support involving multiple products carried within a specific department of a mass retail chain. The service directive required the in-store repackaging of intimate apparel in order to execute a conversion from one brand name to another simultaneously in all U.S. stores. The overall goal of the manufacturer was to quickly implement a new look at retail for product already in distribution and drive sales, while maintaining consistency in their store-to-store presentation. Lawrence Merchandising was selected to bid on the project based on their past relationship with the manufacturer. Due to the success of prior services performed for the client in another division, Lawrence was referred directly to the team overseeing the project, who quickly realized when discussing information related to the project that Lawrence possessed a higher level of experience in managing such a process. Lawrence Merchandising also conducted a time study that proved to be very accurate based on the clients projections required per unit. Lawrence is known as an industry leader with a proven record of successful, results driven project execution on a national scope and was thus awarded the service.
To plan and execute a chain-wide service in which Lawrence service representatives would administer streamlined processes to quickly and effectively conduct the client’s brand change and merchandise their fixtures at retail during a specific time frame. To proactively plan for the service, Lawrence created a project specific training video for their reps and pre-called all locations to schedule a date and time for the service to ensure the store was ready and had the necessary space dedicated for a work station and tools available. Lawrence also utilized their in-field supervisor team to conduct audits and store checks to identify and resolve potential issues with the service before, during and after the scheduled calls.
All stores did not carry all styles presented in the overall distribution and store-specific style lists and planograms were required to determine actual items on hand. Various quantities of the new packaging had already shipped from the manufacturer and were currently displayed on the selling floor in some locations. Since the product was already in stock at the retailer, it was unknown how many units each store carried of the old brand vs. the new brand and how many items would need to be changed. Since the product assortment varied, the required service time per location fluctuated. Some stores were very simple to convert while other locations were more elaborate due to the diverse components of product. Stock levels per store also presented challenges as some locations showed on-hand that could not be immediately located on the floor or in the back room. The style numbers on the old brand were different from the new and collar tags and UPC tickets needed to be matched precisely in order to ensure accuracy. Clearance merchandise was found to be located along with new product and required additional sorting and removal. The repackaging directive also required the use of a swift tack device and tacks which store personnel would need to have available for the merchandisers. Although service calls were pre-scheduled, in some instances this device was in use by store personnel and created service delays.
Lawrence Merchandising understood right away that attention to detail played a critical role in the successful execution of the service. They took the time to identify potential roadblocks and issues and planned appropriate resolution to pass on to their team at the onset. Through thorough education and communication of all aspects of the project, Lawrence was able to provide their merchandisers with the necessary tools to ensure their success before they reached the store. Lawrence created an in-depth training video for their merchandisers which was highly acclaimed through feedback received from the field. The team also created a detailed service directive including a comprehensive guide for reps to follow style by style for increased efficiency and maximized accuracy. Working with store personnel in pre-arranging the service contributed to minimal on-site issues as the stores were well advised of the planned service intent and given the opportunity to prepare for the project in advance. Several layers of project management and supervision by Lawrence team created a check and balance system throughout the course of the project and contributed to the overall ease in which the service was implemented and completed nationwide.
Careful project planning and preparation were key elements to the success of this project. The Lawrence Merchandising team dedicated a great amount of ongoing attention to all the details and elements of the service to ensure seamless execution. After service pictures of each product line provided by the merchandisers gave the client documented assurance that the goals were reached in each location as they directed. In the end, Lawrence completed over 3800 store visits and repackaged well over 1 million units in reaching successful execution of the brand conversion.
The repackaging project proved to be a high profile, large scale project for both the client and Lawrence Merchandising. The service intended to increase sales through heightened awareness of the client’s updated brand. Lawrence was able to meet and exceed the needs and expectations of the client for successful project execution. This secured their ongoing partnership and led to future expansion of projects planned for additional retail chains. Lawrence Merchandising was proud of the accomplishments achieved in this project and were honored to be chosen as the service partner for one of the most recognizable brand names in America.