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East prepares for omnichannel push

Womenswear chain East is set to go fully omnichannel later this year to better manage stock and improve distribution to customers.

A new stock management system - which will enable goods to be delivered to shoppers from the warehouse or individual stores, depending on where items are available - is expected to deliver a higher sell-through on full-price items.

East was migrated to supply chain specialist Retail Assist’s Merret platform last week, creating a central stock pool providing a real-time view of all products in the business.

There is still work to do to embed the software, but East aims to go fully omnichannel in the autumn.

The move will enable a shopper to enter a store and if that does not have the required item, it can be sent directly to the customer from the warehouse or another shop. Chief executive Suzi Spink said: “This will change the role of stores a lot. They will become hubs rather than just standalone shops.

“On full-price sales it should deliver higher sell-through as you can get anything from anywhere.”

The move will also give “a single customer view” so more complete data can be gathered on how shoppers are making purchases, enabling marketing to be better targeted.

A 36-page catalogue providing “a snapshot” of East’s summer collection – The Book – was distributed to customers in spring. Another is being planned for its winter range, which will be sent out in October.

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