Tom Tailor targets modernisation with restructuring plan and new vision
The wholesale business is one of the most profitable segments at Germany fashion brand Tom Tailor, a company that has had to face losses in the past and is now gearing up to see an increase in revenue and carry out a restructure as part of a strategic reset. The focus will be on the lines Tom Tailor and Tom Tailor Denim, while the Bonita brand will be modernised and repositioned at a later date. A new e-commerce site is expected to launch in the second half of the year for Tom Tailor, with the visuals reflecting the new look and feel of the new marketing campaign.
Thomas Bretscher, Country Manager Northwest Europe, is responsible for the company’s wholesale business. Together with his team, the 43-year old will start rolling out his part of the three-year plan, which is to be published in November. FashionNetwork.com spoke with him about the restructuring of the wholesale business.
FashionNetwork: What is the three-year plan?
Thomas Bretscher: The focus of the three-year plan is on the successful completion of our reset programme, which is based on the healthy core of our business activities. At Tom Tailor we will continue to focus on both the Tom Tailor and the Tom Tailor Denim lines. It’s not about growth and expansion but about profitability. As part of this, new sales strategies have been developed for out different channels.
FN: What is the new sales strategy?
TB: Firstly, we will renew the layouts of our stores and adapt them to the new look and feel of our brand image. In Germany alone, there are 2,680 Tom Tailor shop-in-shops. 210 of them are over ten years old, so they don’t feel contemporary. That is why, in recent months, we have begun to renew these sites. We have already rolled out the new concept in 47 locations and our trading partners have confirmed that the new look is being well received.
Secondly, we want to significantly strengthen and expand our Tom Tailor Denim brand, which currently accounts for just one third of our wholesale revenue. With our denim collections, we want to address an even more trend-conscious target group, as we see considerable potential here.
Thirdly, we want to further increase the sales performance and the sales per square meter in the shop-in-shops and franchise area by introducing a more efficient stock management and by tracking sales and best-seller data. This will supported by a marketing campaign at POS, tills and shop windows as part of our new campaign strategy.
FN: How is your customer?
TB: In addition to our existing customers, we want to increase our reach to consumers who care about fashion and trends and have a more daring, edgy style, while offering the same good price-performance ratio. With the first capsule collection by Naomi Campbell, which also includes evening dresses, we want to slowly infuse a more elevated fashion aesthetic into our collections.
In order to convey our new positioning to the market, we are increasingly investing in marketing campaigns and trade fair appearances. We were present at the beginning of the year at Panorama, and in July we hosted a catwalk show with our new FW18 collection for more than 150 trade partners at CPD.
FN: What role does digital play in the new plan?
TB: Digitisation is a very important issue for us, and not just online. At the moment, we are exploring new forms and formats of collaboration with suppliers such as Zalando, Amazon, Otto and About You. We are also launching our new e-shops to boost our brand awareness.
FN: Will Tom Tailor be present at Bread & Butter by Zalando?
TB: No, this year we have decided not to focus on consumer-facing trade fairs but on product, digitisation and the new sales structure.
FN: And in this context, what is the new organisational structure of the wholesale arm?
TB: The new restructuring has seen new positions created, including the appointment of Rob Heylen as Country Manager Benelux and France, Jana Kadur as Head of Customer Service, Ralf Eisleben as Director International Wholesale Expansion, Iris Donecker as Director for Vertical Wholesale and Key Accounts, Thalke Onken as Senior Manager Sales Wholesale Online and Richard Holder as Head of International Sales. The existing structure of regional sales managers will remain in place.
Tom Tailor, which recorded a loss of around 73 million euros in 2016, presented its half-year results in August. Group sales fell by just 1.1% to 446.3 million euros from 451.3 million in 2016. The Bonita brand continued to struggle. In the first half of the year, the womenswear label recorded a drop in sales of 8.9% to 139.7 million euros.
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