News

French lingerie retailer teams for Centric for PLM

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Los Gatos, Calif. — French manufacturer, distributor and retailer of high-end women’s lingerie and ready-to-wear apparel Aubade has selected Centric Software as its product lifecycle management (PLM) software provider.

The company will implement the Calendar Management, Cost Scenario, Materials Management, Product Specification and Product Sourcing modules of the Centric 8 PLM software for retail, apparel, footwear, luxury and consumer goods companies. Users will include product managers, designers, and members of product development, industrialization, quality control, research and development, and technical development staff around the world.

Until recently, Aubade handled all product design, development and manufacturing, while selling only through channels. Now, the business is expanding rapidly into the retail sector, according to Annie Bureau, Aubade’s operations director, and already operates more than 55 stores. This expansion created a need to accelerate product development, and that led the company to select Centric 8 PLM, said Bureau.

To date, Aubade has relied on spreadsheets to manage product development. “As Aubade continues to open new retail outlets and increase the number of collections each year, it is more important than ever to implement a system to help assure reliability and accuracy,” said Bureau.

Aubade will use the Centric PLM suite to accommodate two separate operational models. For its lingerie products, Aubade directly handles product design, development and manufacturing. For day and night ready-to-wear apparel lines, Aubade outsources the manufacturing.

By working with “one version of the truth” about each product, Bureau explained, staff can better track development progress, improve data reliability and increase productivity across all product lines, all departments and all locations.

Aubade also will use the PLM software to improve collaboration with remote suppliers through better progress monitoring and visibility into the product development process that takes place at different sites. “By clearly defining and tracking all product development actions, Aubade will be able to more precisely calculate lead times and costs, and control margins throughout the process,” said Bureau.

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OPERATIONS

Kenneth Cole leverages Instagram for Kinky Boots promo

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York — Fashion designer and retailer Kenneth Cole is partnering with the Tony Award-winning musical Kinky Boots on the launch of a limited-edition capsule shoe collection arriving in stores for the holiday season.

To promote the launch, a designated area in front of the Al Hirschfeld Theatre (302 West 45th Street in Manhattan) will encourage passersby to try and win a pair of Kinky Boots tickets by following @kennethcoleprd and @kinkybootsbway and Instagraming a photo of their "kinky" shoes using #KCKinkyboots.

Additionally, a 20% shopping discount will be extended to any customer presenting a Kinky Boots ticket stub at Kenneth Cole stores nationwide. And the brand will dedicate its West Side Highway billboard during the month of October to the Kinky Boots collaboration.

All of the net profits from the sale of the shoes – which feature a "Kinky Boots by Kenneth Cole" logo embossed on the sole – will be donated to AWEARNESS, The Kenneth Cole Foundation in support of the Human Rights Campaign.

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FINANCE

Buffets names CFO, announces Minneapolis remodel plans

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Eagan, Minn. — Steak buffet chain Buffets Inc. said that it has appointed Keith Kravcik as its CFO. The company also created a new position – director, office of the CEO and corporate administration – and promoted Jackie Fiebelkorn to the slot.

Kravcik will be responsible for all finance, accounting, purchasing and IT functions as well as continuing to strengthen the back office services organization. Fiebelkorn will lead the office for the CEO and oversee administrators throughout the organization.

"Positioning these key roles in Minnesota coupled with the planned Main Street rollout re-affirms the company’s commitment to the greater Minneapolis market," said Anthony Wedo, CEO of Buffets, Inc. "As we move to the next phase of our turnaround and continued re-invention of our brands, having a pro like Keith with significant hands-on experience in large organizations will be critical to our success."

Kravcik most recently served as group VP and corporate controller for Supervalu.

According to Wedo, the steak buffet chain will invest in the Twin Cities by remodeling local restaurants. Buffets has chosen the Twin Cities to be among the first markets to be part of their new Main Street initiative, pairing a complete food and operations revamp with new and contemporary decor. The Main Street effort will take place in the Twin Cities and Denver over the next six months.

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