Harvey Nichols implements Merret Store Scanner solution
Harvey Nichols is a luxury lifestyle store, renowned internationally for its fashion merchandise. It offers many of the world’s most prestigious brands in womenswear, menswear, accessories, beauty and food. Harvey Nichols has stores in London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Leeds, Dublin, Riyadh, Hong Kong, Dubai and Istanbul. The London flagship store is in the heart of Knightsbridge.
Harvey Nichols wanted to create a multi-user, Head Office controlled, back-office handheld device solution to provide real-time stock movements and improved management information.
The alternative was paper-based processes but, with huge volumes of information and thousands of product codes to be input, this was time-consuming and error-prone. Handhelds were felt to be the optimum approach given that it’s not always possible to have PCs and screens in data input locations such as store back-rooms, loading bays and shop-floors.
Following the successful introduction of a scanner-based solution in the warehouse with Retail Assist’s Merret application, Harvey Nichols felt the time was right to deploy this in their stores.
“We wanted to replace inefficient and inaccurate manual processes in stores. Our goals were resource efficiencies, improved accuracy, real-time validation of stock and fast problem-solving. This solution was particularly important given we’re a luxury store dealing with high-value merchandise,” states Alistair McDonald, Supply Chain Systems Manager, Harvey Nichols
In addition to transacting internal processes and stock movements quickly and accurately, the solution had to be robust, cost-effective, easy to deploy to remote store locations, and should not require complicated networks and additional physical cabling beyond cabling RF points.
The solution was designed to use Radio Frequency communications, but operators don’t need to rely purely on RF signal coverage to perform stock functions. This is a particular issue with retail space inside listed buildings, or underground in high-density locations where 100% coverage can be a challenge.
Development and deployment was a joint venture. Retail Assist’s Merret application team specified the solution and was involved in developing the central elements, while Harvey Nichols handled the scanner side. Harvey Nichols’ point-of-sale provider, Itim, developed the first phase of the store scanners which were then embedded into the overall development by the Harvey Nichols and Merret application team. The Harvey Nichols internal development team then continued with the remaining application phases. The Store Receiving went live in Autumn 2006, while Returns/Recalls launched in early 2007. This is an evolving solution, with further developments and enhancements continuing.
Harvey Nichols has improved efficiency and accuracy across the store estate in terms of stock movements. It has achieved time savings and can support its retail operations and staff more effectively.
The availability of real-time information has proved particularly valuable. Given that Harvey Nichols deals with high value merchandise, knowing with complete accuracy whether it has, for instance, one or two £3,000 dresses in stock can make a big difference. Thanks to the store scanner solution, the business can now track stock far more effectively so that, in the case of lost stock or theft, it can follow an…