JD Sports Fashion is to extend its use of the Oracle planning and forecasting system from its main sports business to its two fashion chains Scotts and Bank.
The sports fashion retailer credits the system with helping it to achieve a 5 per cent reduction in stock and taking the number of clearance stores it needs to run from 12 to two.
The Orpas system went live in the business last year and JD hopes to extend it to Scotts later this year and to Bank early next year. JD has not ruled out extending the system to the French Chausport business that it acquired in May.
JD Sports head of merchandise Martin Beardsell said that the system has created a consolidated plan that is allowing buyers and merchandisers to work much more closely together, with what he describes as “joint accountability”.
Beardsell said that staff from within the JD division will be able to share their knowledge of how to get the most out of the system with staff in Scotts and Bank. JD’s fashion business generated a small operating profit for the first time in the previous financial year, mainly as a result of the acquisition of Bank in 2007.
JD Sports finance director Brian Small said that he expects this profit to rise further this financial year.
At the same time, JD plans to introduce store clustering, to help it simplify the assortment planning process for each store. This will most likely go live across all three of JD’s UK fascias by 2011.
At present, each store has a unique assortment process, but with the growth the business is experiencing this is becoming unmanageable.
Beardsell added that certain groups of stores, such as ex-Allsports stores, would particularly benefit from being clustered together.