M&S Mode sets a trend for higher efficiency and lower costs
Netherlands-based M&S Mode has selected iShopShape’s Mockshop, Sampleroom and StyleShoots products to streamline key processes, including visual merchandising (VM), product range visualisation, and product photography. This customer win means that iShopShape, a leading provider of retail execution and PLM solutions, has added yet another high-profile fashion company to its roster. M&S Mode has been using the solutions since September 2010 and is already benefiting from the significant time and cost savings they deliver.
Headquartered in Amsterdam, M&S Mode specialises in on-trend womenswear in a wide range of sizes and has around 450 stores in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany and Spain. With just two people responsible for international visual merchandising, the workload involved in producing garment shots and store layouts was increasing rapidly – especially as the shop presentation changes every week. The two VM specialists took photos of items individually in one of the M&S Mode shops or in the pilot shop at the company’s head office. This process was very time-consuming and did not always produce images of optimal quality.
Along with extensive research on the types of solutions available, the project involved assembling a team of people from different departments – such as the styling and purchasing divisions as well as merchandising – to ensure all solution requirements were covered and gain buy-in from all potential users.
Following the evaluation process, the project team at M&S Mode selected three specialised products from iShopShape. These are Mockshop for streamlining shop presentation processes, Sampleroom as a decision support and storyboard tool for range visualisation, and the new StyleShoots solution for the product photos. The team was particularly impressed by Mockshop’s clear and professional visualisation, making it easier for them to advise and instruct on-site staff in their shops on the required layouts. Also, StyleShoots ensured that they could take a single, top-quality photo of a product, export it and re-use it in several different ways. For example, the StyleShoots photos can be exported to the visual product database used by the Sampleroom solution, which comprises a storyboard and visual analysis tool. Sampleroom enables the M&S Mode team to interactively build range books as well as styling and presentation ideas. Along with M&S Mode’s VM team, a styling specialist is also using the iShopShape products to produce collection books.
“The iShopShape products are certainly making our jobs easier as well as saving us time,” says Marit Zijderlaan, visual merchandising specialist at M&S Mode. “StyleShoots is a big improvement on our previous photo process, because it’s a complete solution with hardware and software that lets us produce better-quality shots in much less time.” The solution features lighting fixtures, backgrounds and a clear glass table as well as a remote-controlled camera and software. With an intuitive interface, it is easy to use, even for non-specialists, and helps users shoot articles both quickly and cost-effectively.
“We’re also very pleased with Mockshop,” adds Marit Zijderlaan. “It produces clear and highly professional shop layouts that are really easy for our shop sales staff to follow – and that gives M&S Mode a unified brand image in all our retail outlets throughout Europe.”