French fashion retailer, The Kooples, has increased employee engagement, utilising frontline staff expertise to inform product design, and exceeded compliance and customer satisfaction targets in partnership with YOOBIC, the digital workplace solution for frontline teams.
The French clothing and accessories brand, which is known for its rebellious and sophisticated designs for both men and women, has more than 1,000 frontline staff in 330 stores across 13 countries including 20 in the UK.
Responding to the increasingly digitised retail environment, The Kooples recognised the need to modernise and streamline communications and visual merchandising (VM), quality and maintenance processes across its store network and, accordingly, deployed the YOOBIC mobile-first platform in 2018.
“The first challenge was needing a tool which could be picked up quickly by the frontlines teams and above all a tool capable of meeting our need for agility, to retrieve information quickly. In the past, telephones were forbidden on the sales floor, but today they are an essential tool for accompanying customers, for understanding the product and for training. The average age of our teams is 28, they spend on average four hours per day on their smartphone, so we needed to design solutions that fit to their expectations.”
Livio Tabbi, Retail Director Europe for The Kooples
With look and feel critical in creating a premium fashion in-store experience, The Kooples utilised the YOOBIC platform to improve VM standards across its network. It launched a series of missions, delivered to staff on their mobile devices in the flow of work, focused on ensuring the appearance of each store met the retailers’ exacting standards. Within ten months, the rate of VM compliance across the entire network doubled. Realising the value of the platform, the retailer began using it to focus other key performance targets.
To reduce the number of defective products sold to customers, The Kooples, created a faulty product mission that allowed store staff to identify flawed products, whose sale and subsequent return, was impacting profit margins. Using feedback from frontline staff, the retailer reduced the rate of defective products by 50% and has been able to improve the design and production processes.
Explaining the impact of this improvement across the business, Tabbi commented:
“We meet a crucial challenge, which is customer satisfaction, because our aim is to ensure that 100% of the products in stores meet customer expectations.”
The YOOBIC platform has also enabled the retailer to bring the expertise of their 1,000-frontline staff into the forefront of both the sales and design and purchasing functions of the business. Store staff are encouraged to share their store floor sales pitches via the platform, which are then compiled and shared to all staff via weekly newsletters. The Kooples also use the platform to regularly survey store staff to get their feedback on products and product attributes allowing the design team to refine future collections creating products based on customer preferences.
“With YOOBIC we can delegate missions to store managers and network managers can create missions according to the criteria they want to see. This makes it possible to empower the employees concerned. How do we measure it? Quite simply, people stay with us. The more value and responsibility we give them, the lower our turnover is. YOOBIC plays an important role in empowering our teams,” commented Tabbi.
The retailer has also transferred all the maintenance management of its stores into the platform, allowing stores to send messages direct to the maintenance department when issues arise increasing efficiency and speed of resolution.
Fabrice Haiat, CEO and co-founder of YOOBIC, commented:
“We are absolutely delighted with the results our partnership with The Kooples has achieved. As a retailer they genuinely understand the value and insight their frontline employees provide and understand the crucial role mobile technology, and appropriately formatted content, plays for their staff in terms of driving engagement and cohesion.”
“The Kooples is the perfect case study of how recognising the needs and talents of frontline staff, and putting these at the heart of the business, is the perfect recipe for creating the exceptional employee experience that in turn delivers outstanding commercial results.”