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Harry Rosen Recognized as Top Innovator in 2017

Source: Apparel Magazine, May 2017. Author : Jessica Binns

You’ve seen the headlines: the luxury market as we know it is a thing of the past. For Toronto-based upscale men’s wear retailer Harry Rosen, there’s increased competition, especially as U.S. chains such as Nordstrom move into the Canadian market and mono-brand stores are opening with increased frequency in key urban markets across the country, says CIO Stephen Jackson.

And with their omnipresent smartphones, customers are savvier than ever. “Thanks to the increase of information available online, there is a greater awareness of the latest trends and key pieces for the season,” Jackson continues. “Customers are coming into our stores with their smartphones knowing exactly what they want. Decades ago, men were generally less interested in trends than their female counterparts. But due to the rise of social media, the playing field is levelling.”

Amidst this changing climate, Harry Rosen shifted from a best-of-breed approach to technology and adopted Jesta I.S.’s fully integrated ERP solution, which includes POS, inventory, finance and reporting. Now internal support is far less complex and the company has just one vendor to deal with instead of four.

Mobile POS is one of the standout features, operating on HP tablets so that store associates, or “advisors”, encounter the same look and feel as the cash wrap. “Advisors do not need to learn two different systems,” says Jackson. “It improves our in-store service by allowing our clients to check out from anywhere in the store, thereby elevating the level of service that we can offer.”

Jesta I.S.’s deferred sales module also has had a significant impact. Harry Rosen’s business relies heavily on tailored apparel plus made-to-measure apparel from top design houses, leveraging the customer’s precise measurements, fabric choice and style preferences. “We want to ensure that everyone looks and feels their best in every garment that they purchase from us,” Jackson explains. “That’s why we provide complimentary maintenance and repairs for the lifetime of each tailored garment.”

With world-class tailors in all of its stores, the deferred sales module helps Harry Rosen deliver on its high standards of service. When a sale is processed, the advisor can discuss with the customer when the garment is needed and this “promise date” gets recorded into the system. The module is tightly integrated into the retailer’s Tailor Shop system, which helps to manage resources and ensures that the garment is delivered on time.

Harry Rosen established work flow processes to ensure that every step of the purchase journey is managed properly. For example, when the promise date is set with the customer, the company sends the e-receipt to the advisor as well as automatically adding a calendar entry for the pickup date. This ensures that when the customer comes back to try on the garment, the advisor is on hand to greet him and ensure a proper fit and full satisfaction.

For made-to-measure garments, the processes in place ensure that the order is placed with the designer, and then Harry Rosen tracks when it is supposed to be delivered as well as when it arrives so the advisor can confirm the appointment with the customer.

Harry Rosen also created Virtual Harry as a way of extending its world-class in-store expertise and services to customers who choose to shop at home. A direct conduit to his personal clothing advisor, Virtual Harry enables the shopper to live chat, email or set up an in-store appointment with his advisor of choice. New customers can use Virtual Harry to select a store and pick an in-store advisor for assistance. Customers not comfortable with the online ordering process can order any item of merchandise agreed upon during a consultation — whether by phone, email or live chat — on the spot, with none of the “typical online shopping rigmarole,” says Jackson. “Their personal clothing advisor takes care of the entire ordering process and emails a secure link for easy payment.”

So far, Virtual Harry has been a hit with customers. “We frequently receive positive feedback that this level of expert advice is literally provided at a push of a button as well as the convenience and time savings that they get through this channel,” adds Jackson.

Harry Rosen is using Jesta I.S. business intelligence tools to make smarter decisions. With a fully mobile system, buyers can run analytics from anywhere in the world and analyze sales and inventory by size and location, with powerful filter capabilities based on an unlimited number of product attributes.

“We are excited about what this tool can do for us in the future, specifically to tie online traffic information by product into our analytics so we know not only what people are buying but what they are researching and looking at,” says Jackson.

— Jessica Binns

To discover more about this year’s crop of innovators, read the Apparel Magazine 2017 Top Innovators Report.

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