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Saks Says NuOrder Digital Merchandise Platform Strengthens Vendor Ties

Saks Fifth Avenue is taking its buying and merchandising approach digital in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic by partnering with wholesale e-commerce and retail assortment platform NuOrder.

While the buying process can often be arduous and costly, as buyers traditionally had to travel to showrooms to view products, the platform seeks to eliminate friction by presenting merchandise in a visually compelling way so that buyers can more efficiently identify merchandising opportunities aligned with seasonal trends and customer expectations.

COVID-19 has curtailed merchandisers’ travel plans, making a clear and concise online product showing more important to the success of the buying process.

The luxury retailer will leverage the NuOrder solution to digitally curate and deliver a fresh merchandise assortment across its apparel, footwear and accessory verticals and further improve collaboration with vendor partners. Currently, 150 Saks vendors including Christian Louboutin, Burberry, Balenciaga and Rag & Bone have adopted the platform, which connects more than 2,000 premium brands and 500,000 retailers, many of which are mom-and-pop shops.

These vendors can share their full product collections and personalized digital line sheets ahead of market appointments and engage with buyers to elevate the “story” behind each project. Vendors can provide photos of products and styles and videos of runway shows and marketing campaigns.

“To maintain our leadership in luxury retail, we have been evolving our merchandise strategy to continually deliver the best edit for our customers, when and where they want it,” said Tracy Margolies, chief merchant, Saks Fifth Avenue.

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“While these efforts have been underway for some time, the current environment has given us the opportunity to accelerate our plans,” Margolies added. “Our adoption of NuOrder’s data-driven platform is an important step in our strategy, enabling us to better collaborate with our vendor partners, drive inventory efficiency and ensure merchandise effectiveness across all touch points.”

Saks plans to use NuOrder’s technology across its buying, planning, digital and marketing functions, enabling it to apply a more data-driven approach in decision making, forecasting and performance analytics. Buyers using the platform can track how much their company is spending in real time, see what other buyers are presently ordering and view how much of their “open-to-buy” purchasing budget is left for future inventory orders without having to use an Excel spreadsheet.

Because NuOrder is designed as a collaborative tool, divisional and general merchandise managers can review which products buyers are reviewing and even make changes before a purchase is finalized.

In addition, Saks Fifth Avenue vendors will receive access to NuOrder’s two-sided platform at no cost to digitize market appointments and collaborate directly with their buyers throughout the buying process. NuOrder will provide premium services to onboard vendors.

Saks joins Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom as major apparel retailers using the NuOrder platorm. In total, NuOrder has processed more than $35 billion in gross merchandise value.

NuOrder recently got into the digital trade show space as well, partnering with Informa Fashion Markets to build what the companies bill as the industry’s “largest digital trade show.” As part of the partnership, the platform will power Informa’s digital events, the first of which will launch with a men’s wear theme in August followed by a women’s wear event in September. Throughout the events, the NuOrder platform will serve as a bridge to connect buyers and brands, just as it does for the retailers using the platform.