Global fashion brand, GANT, has created a digitally connected global community for its frontline workers – increasing employee engagement, improving operational excellence, and driving increased sales conversions – in partnership with YOOBIC, the digital workplace solution for frontline teams.
From its beginnings as a shirtmaker, founded on the American East Coast in 1949 by Bernard Gantmacher, GANT is now a pioneering sportswear brand offering its signature look to men, women, and children in more than 70 countries and 600 stores globally – including 25 in the United Kingdom.
In line with the brand’s Never Stop Learning credo, GANT strives to give both its consumers and employees opportunities to evolve and reach their full potential. This ethos underpins GANT’s ongoing reinvention of its physical stores as spaces where it can connect its consumers with wider storytelling around its brand proposition and heritage in addition to its product offering – all delivered by its frontline employees.
“Our in-store colleagues play such a pivotal role as they are the ones that meet and serve our customers every day. Their interaction with the customer creates an opportunity to engage and build a relationship. Therefore, it is crucial that we support them and we have been investing in processes and tools to facilitate a smoother employee experience giving them time to focus on the customer while in-store,” says Maria Klingh, Global Retail Director at GANT.
Accordingly, GANT deployed the YOOBIC mobile-first platform in 2020 – initially focusing on streamlining and improving visual merchandising (VM) compliance. It launched a series of missions, delivered to staff on their mobile devices in the flow of work, communicating guidelines and providing a place to capture feedback and comments. This standardised process for capturing data provided visibility on VM compliance across local and global head offices, resulting in a much higher quality of visual execution with consistently high standards upheld in each store.
Building on that initial success, in 2021 GANT launched its training operation, the GANT Academy, on YOOBIC, creating a digital hub for communications, training and engagement which, currently, more than 2,000 store associates and retail leaders use. A dedicated ‘inspiration’ section of the Academy aims to help build retail experiences by providing diverse courses on music, art, and even Netflix content designed to support store teams to have interesting and meaningful conversations with customers that connect beyond GANT’s product offering.
Additionally, GANT has utilised YOOBIC to create the Academy Social Club where frontline staff share news and images, participate in competitions, and celebrate wins, all designed to foster engagement amongst the workforce and forge a strong, collaborative culture in its teams.
“One of the smart things YOOBIC provides is the automated translation of comments into a user’s native language so we overcome the language barrier, which is very present when you operate in a global environment. Now we have, which is amazing to see, store associates in Shanghai chatting or giving tips or engaging with our store staff in Paris and this we really believe creates a sense of belonging and being part of a greater, global community,” explains Klingh.
Today, 90% of GANT’s retail employees use YOOBIC to learn, communicate, and find information on a weekly basis, with 80% accessing the YOOBIC app on their private mobile and 20% using the retailer’s in-store tablets. GANT has seen a 30% increase in completed training in comparison to its previous platform. This increase in direct communication between head and local offices and store floor employees results in an increase in knowledge, passion, and engagement.
Fabrice Haiat, CEO and co-founder of YOOBIC, commented: “We are absolutely delighted with the results GANT has achieved with partnership with GANT. It is an innovative brand with a deep understanding of the changing retail environment and the critical role its frontline employees play in creating the types of engaging interpersonal experiences GANT customers want to connect with the brand. By using mobile technology, and appropriately formatted content, GANT is empowering its frontline employees to connect with consumers beyond just a product transaction and create the powerful connections that drive long term loyalty and power repeat purchase.”