Tesco is expanding its F&F clothing range into new international markets.
The supermarket has signed a three-year agreement with cloud-based technology provider, ConcretePlatform, which will enable the F&F brand to be traded by its global franchise partners.
The news comes hot on the heels of the announcement of Tesco’s first F&F international franchise partner in Saudi Arabia.
ConcretePlatform claims to be the world’s first trading community for retail brands.
It offers a subscription-based cloud service, which contains a number of tools to allow retailers to trade with their partners across the wholesale, franchise and wholly-owned markets; as well as the supply network that supports today’s retail community.
ConcretePlatform said its technology will allow Tesco’s F&F team to benefit from a secure cloud repository for all of its business information, including marketing materials, retail operations guidelines and manuals, visual merchandising and training materials.
Mark Knowlden, business development manager of F&F, said: “ConcretePlatform is already connected to most franchise partners in the world, and we were particularly pleased to learn our chosen franchise partner, AlHokair, was already familiar with Concrete through some of the other brands they’re working with. This not only helped to reinforce our decision to go with ConcretePlatform, but more importantly has allowed us to go from standstill to fully operational in just a matter of weeks.”
One application available to Tesco via the cloud is access to artwork automation tools, which will allow it to create localised point-of-sale in all markets – initially in five different languages and currencies.
According to ConcretePlatform, this will reduce the time and cost to market for these materials. Similarly, any other templates and/or variable data produced at Tesco HQ can be tailored to meet the needs of individual markets in order to deliver print-ready artwork, it said.
At the same time, ConcretePlatform said its RAZA (Review & Approve + Zoom & Annotate) application will enable more effective collaboration on any localised materials.
With RAZA, Tesco’s franchise partners will be able to initiate an online review and head office approval of items like advertisements, store signage and store layout, for example.
In addition, ConcretePlatform said its Project Management module will allow Tesco’s international clothing division to co-ordinate new store developments and marketing projects more easily.
And, by using ConcretePlatform’s Web Publishing & Communication application, each part of Tesco’s F&F business will be able to distribute any key materials both quickly and easily. For example, the visual merchandising team can use ConcretePlatform’s web publishing capabilities to provide detailed information on how to visually merchandise an F&F store.
Tristan Rogers, CEO of ConcretePlatform, said: “With over 15 cloud applications now available on ConcretePlatform, we can genuinely offer our customers a one-stop-shop for trading their brand globally. We are extremely pleased Tesco has chosen ConcretePlatform, as this choice further validates our unique position in the market for brands looking to expand internationally.“