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Uncovering the costs of the apparel supply chain

Date: November 02, 2016

Category: Industry news

Our new cost-to-serve white paper digs deep beneath the surface of omnichannel apparel retail costs to ask if sales are up, why is margin down?

Our latest white paper on ‘Managing the apparel cost-to-serve in the omnichannel environment’ – which we published in partnership with management experts from LCP Consulting and Cranfield School of Management – analyses the end-to-end supply chain costs, the challenges in managing these costs and how retailers can overcome them.

Our research identifies the key levers which apparel retailers and brands can use to gain greater insight into their omnichannel processes – improving decision making and shining a light on hidden costs. It also highlights how the applying GS1 standards can result in 20-30% savings in operational costs.

Online is driving sales growth but the higher costs of processing and fulfilling omnichannel orders is eroding margins. As online becomes a higher percentage of total retail sales, and more stores close, we need to address the cost impact of cross channel selling now, before it becomes a bigger issue. Our paper highlights the importance of the supply chain in delivering this and outlines the tactics to improve costs without sacrificing staff or customer service to ensure future sustainability.”

Jacky Broomhead, Market Development Manager, Apparel at GS1 UK

We’ve launched our white paper, which involved research conducted with leading online retailers and other organisations, at a briefing yesterday attended by 30 retails professionals.

Read the cost-to-serve findings

Read the full press release

Cost to serve


Knowing where costs build in the supply chain is key for ensuring profitability