Manchester-based JD Williams is a leading UK retailer specialising in plus size fashion. With a turnover in excess of £700m and brands such as Simply Be, Jacamo, Figleaves and Viva La Diva, the company has successfully managed the transition from a catalogue based business to become a successful multi-channel, multi-brand retailer. JD Williams is part of N Brown Group – the UK’s largest independent multi-channel home shopping retailer.
For many retailers, international markets offer an increasing attractive growth proposition and JD Williams is no exception. Group Development Director, Paul Kendrick, devised a business plan to roll-out the Simply Be brand and range to Germany. This included extensive market research, a German catalogue, a credit proposition, definition of a fulfilment and returns pipeline, a German based contact centre and a multi-lingual, multi-currency web site. A large scale nationally advertised launch was accompanied by a drop of 400K catalogues, followed by an e-blast of 700,000.
Crimson was asked to work as part of an in-house business and IT team to project manage the Simply Be Germany initiative. There were significant project milestones to address and a real need to adopt a pragmatic, results-focused project management approach.
Crimson worked closely alongside Paul Kendrick to appoint a German software house to implement a contact centre solution. Venda is recognised as a pioneer of cloud-based (SaaS) commerce solutions. Crimson worked with Venda to create a German language e-commerce site.
The project included integration with legacy back office applications for fulfilment via Hermes parcel distribution and collections. The German proposition included a credit offer which meant taking payments via the German banking systems and credit scoring agencies. A translation company was engaged for product copy conversion.
The Client’s Words:
Group Development Director Paul Kendrick said: “Working with Crimson enabled us to penetrate a significant new international market within the planned timescale.
“Tight deadlines, including the launch date, were met and all work remained within budget. Simon Chave’s expertise and support was invaluable and it is fair to say Crimson played a key role in the online success we are seeing in Germany today.”