the cloud
TECHNOLOGY

Lucky Brand gets ‘scrappy’

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Invention is the mother of necessity when it comes to Lucky Brand embracing the cloud.

The apparel retailer’s cloud strategy was not as methodical as other retailers. Indeed, it wasn’t even a choice. Rather, it became a critical option when Lucky Brand’s parent, Fifth & Pacific Companies, sold the retailer in order to focus on its core Kate Spade brand.

When owned by Fifth & Pacific, Lucky Brand operated under the Kate Spade umbrella, where it leveraged shared services for  IT, finance and accounting, human resources and supply chain, and augmented its operations with legacy systems. After the sale, it had a transition services agreement that allotted it 24 months to be independent — and to operate its own systems.

With no formal IT team or transition plan in place, Lucky Brand quickly developed an IT strategy based on cloud-based systems and never looked back.

“We had a blank slate and decided to leverage cloud capabilities wherever possible,” said Luis Malave, VP of applications for Lucky Brand, at the Oracle Industry Connect conference. “We were scrappy in our approach, and had to get up to speed if we wanted to compete.”

Lucky Brand hired a CIO and put together a team that launched a cloud-based supply chain operation in late 2014, followed by corporate and retail applications in 2015. Since then, the brand  has adopted a cloud-based enterprise resource planning system, financials, e-commerce and loyalty program.

Along with a rapid three-month return on investment on its initial applications, “the process taught us we can mange more with less people,” Malave said.

“People speculate that retail is dead, but it’s not,” he said. “Instead, it is evolving and changing, and this is forcing all companies to shift and learn to do things differently if they want to compete. We needed to change, and cloud solutions are helping us step up our functionality and level the playing field.”

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