IT services and solutions for retail and hospitality

  • 15 Oct 2012

Interview with Cath Kidston

You may have heard about the exciting news regarding our latest client to join us, Cath Kidston.  We are thrilled about this, particularly some of the females in the office.  We have a number of Cath Kidston fans here alongside our mum’s of course!  We are all proud to say we are providing them with our support at Retail Assist.

For those of you who somehow may not have seen Cath Kidston products, take a look at the pictures above to give you an idea of the original and vintage inspired prints which depicts their brand.

We decided to have a chat with Mike Padfield, the IT Director from Cath Kidston, about their requirements and the reasons they came to Retail Assist.  Mike could you give us some background on the recent partnership.

Mike: This year Cath Kidston have opened seven new UK stores including Bournemouth, Chester, Nottingham and Meadowhall and we have a further three UK stores scheduled to open this autumn, in addition to our international growth.

The location of our outlets in airport and train stations and a couple of shopping centers has also increased our retail trading hours, and so we wanted to ensure that shop staff could continue to receive the high levels of support that they are used to.

Our internal IT team were busy launching the new UK and international stores, and so we needed a partner who would provide us with a help desk service to Cath Kidston stores between 6am and 10pm, 7 days a week.

Alex: Mike, so what happens if there are IT issues occurring that your internal IT team want to get access to?

Mike:  The Retail Assist call management software gives us real time access to everything.  Therefore, we’ve got complete visibility of any IT issues across the expanding store estate.

Alex: What happens is something goes wrong with the hardware?

Mike: We are now working with a third party supplier, Retail Response, but Retail Assist are responsible for the escalation of issues to them.  Therefore, we can leave everything to Retail Assist to manage.

Alex: Earlier you mentioned your UK growth, but I understand you are growing internationally too.  What support do you require there?

Mike: Yes, we currently have overseas in partners in Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong and Korea and we are about to open two new concessions in Spain.   We needed something in place to enable us to exchange data between our Head Office in London and the partners overseas.  We decided to use Retail Assist’s data exchange solution Ra-X.  I knew this solution worked well, and had previously used it whilst in my previous roles at White Stuff, and Aurora Fashions.  It’s used by lots of other retailers too, to send and receive product, price, promotion and sales data from store concessions or international locations back to their central operations.  The good thing is the Ra-X solution is easy to use, it’s secure and will grow with us as we expand and support higher volumes of retail data.  It meant that we didn’t have to invest in an additional capital outlay, hardware or software and it prevented an increase in IT headcount.  It has reduced our risk, and we now have much more reliable trading data from overseas.

Alex: Thanks Mike, we’ve all known you for a number of years throughout your retail career, so it’s great to be working with you again.

If you would like to know more about the support provided, please do give us a call on 0115 853 3910 to chat further.

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