Ever-changing styles and an array of colours, sizes and accessories challenge fashion retailers to anticipate consumer response and ensure the right mix is available online and in stores as each season unfolds. Taking advantage of advanced optimisation technology from Oracle, popular fashion retailer Forever 21 is using Oracle Retail Merchandise Planning and Optimization solutions to help predict demand and align assortments to meet customer expectations.
Fast fashion apparel retailer Forever 21, now the fifth largest specialty retailer in the US, implemented Oracle Retail Assortment Planning and Size Profile Optimization to help ensure that the apparel and accessories it places in stores each week are those that customers are looking for, and that will help to fuel ongoing growth.
Forever 21 expects to open 600 new stores in the next three years, and the Oracle system will help its merchandising team support the growth with more streamlined and effective processes, using the system to predict when individual items will be in demand and in what colors, styles and quantities at each of its six websites and corporate, franchise and joint-venture owned brick-and-mortar locations in 43 countries.
Taking advantage of the science incorporated into Oracle Retail Assortment Planning and Size Profile Optimization, Forever 21 can make data-driven decisions to create optimal assortments based on determining factors such as neckline, price point, fabric and other variables influencing sales.
The Oracle Retail solution enables Forever 21 to improve planning decisions based on bottom-up data from its business units, taking into account the fast pace of style changes, number of SKUs, seasonality, and sizing demands, as well as product fabrication requirements and Average Unit Retail costs.
To speed implementation and allow for smoother upgrades in the future, Forever 21’s mantra for the deployment was to “Keep it Simple” by avoiding customization and leveraging the comprehensive functionality of the Oracle Retail planning solution.
Forever 21 worked with Oracle and Veltio, an Oracle PartnerNetworkGold-level member, to launch the solution in May 2014 following a nine-month implementation programme that included data cleansing as well as design and user acceptance testing.
“The Oracle Retail solution gives us a blueprint of where the assortment is going to lead us,” said Robert Kim, vice president, Planning and Allocation, Forever 21. “Seeing the past performance by segment and looking at color penetration and fashion attributes is in itself a giant step forward, and the data can be sliced and diced in a way that is meaningful for our merchants. Oracle took a very complicated model and made it user-friendly. We expect to gain more insight and deliver an even better product assortment for our customers as we expand our use of the Oracle Retail solution.”
“Forever 21 is optimizing its selection of merchandise to meet consumer expectations and to help improve performance across its diverse customer touch points,” said Jill Puleri, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Retail. “By using Oracle Retail optimization and planning solutions, Forever 21 is taking advantage of integrated retail science and leading predictive technology, features to improve the customer experience and drive sales.”