Our Wholesale segment is constantly working on further leveraging the size of our Group and reducing complexity by implementing best operational practices across our wholesale activities. The harmonisation and standardisation particularly of back-end processes can help to further reduce cost through simplified IT systems and applications.
Similarly, and already started in Europe, we are rolling out a trade terms policy that rewards customer performance either by higher efficiency (e.g. in logistics) or better sell-out support (e.g. by point-of-sale activation). As part of this effort, we have established regular reporting, delivering meaningful benchmarks that allow us to tightly control our third-party retail support activities.
Accelerating product creation, while reducing complexity is a key element to gain competitive edge and ultimately to increase shelf space at our customers. We have therefore developed a virtual sell-in tool which allows us to continuously offer a holistic sample range to our retail partners. This is giving the customer the benefit of having a “full range in his pocket”. The reduced amount of samples used during the sell-in process as well as the streamlined image creation process increase speed-to-market, while at the same time reducing costs. This new tool has already been piloted in several markets and is targeted to cover 60% of all Wholesale pre-orders by 2013.