Explains Retail Assist’s co-founder and managing director, Alan Morris: “In one form or another, we’ve worked with Aurora for 9 years. We originally worked with the Warehouse and Principles brands, then with Mosaic Fashions. When the businesses emerged as Aurora Fashions, we continued and built upon our existing relationship.”
When, as part of its corporate strategy, Aurora looked to outsource infrastructure services including IT, the company invited Retail Assist to put forward a proposal detailing how they could move from services supplier to manage Aurora’s entire IT operation. Retail Assist was successful in reaching an agreement in a competitive scenario.
Alan Morris observes: “The values and culture of Aurora Fashions are very similar to ours, which is one of the most crucial factors in these situations. We saw this as an opportunity to upscale our Managed Services Division. With Aurora’s international, multicurrency and multichannel growth strategy, the developments provide us with further skill sets and experience that equip us to engage with more retailers in a time when every retailer is looking to exploit these opportunities.”
For both Aurora and Retail Assist, it will be ‘business as usual’. The transition of Aurora employees has now been completed. The contract will allow Aurora’s brand-focused operational units to concentrate on customer service and business growth, and previous
Aurora employees can look forward to future opportunities for career progression within a larger IT team.
Richard Glanville, Chief Financial Officer of Aurora Fashions commented: “This new structure, which has been achieved without any job losses, is very much about growth. We saw that Retail Assist were the ideal partner for the expansion required, an excellent fit for our staff, and a move that would allow our brands to focus on satisfying the needs of their customers.”
For Aurora, the new arrangements will preserve the shared services benefits of cost-effectiveness, access to expertise and ‘best practice’ IT solutions, providing the group with a strong foundation for future growth.
Retail Assist Limited
Retail Assist is a leading retail-only IT solutions and services company, providing UK and international retailers with end-to-end business applications and services that reduce costs, optimise retail operations and support higher revenues. The company was the first retail-only IT services provider to be awarded ISO20000 accreditation by the BSI.
Retail Assist clients include ASOS, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, WDF, A|Wear, La Senza, Paperchase, Whistles, Aurora Fashions, The White Company, Odin Retail, Tec7, Mint Velvet, Jane Norman, REISS, Crew2000, VUE, Jacques Vert and White Stuff.
With its Retail Solutions Retail Assist excels in developing, integrating, deploying and supporting customised systems. These include its award-winning Merret supply chain solution. Merret is a real-time, multi-currency, multi-channel merchandising, warehousing and stock control solution that covers all areas of the retail supply process. Through working with third parties, Retail Assist also integrates and delivers EPoS systems.
In Managed IT Services, Retail Assist’s proven offerings include 24/365 Help Desk, Technical Services, Operations, Data Centre, Hardware Maintenance and Disaster Recovery. Professional Services cover Retail Business Consultancy and Project Services. The company’s Managed Solutions offer hardware, software applications and services in a cost-effective Software as a Service package.
Aurora Fashions www.aurorafashions.com
Aurora Fashions owns, develops and manages the performance of some of the UK’s most
respected women’s fashion brands - Coast, Oasis and Warehouse - which are
all aimed at the higher end of the market.
Aurora Fashions’ brands are among the most recognised in the UK and internationally with 1,278 stores in 33 countries.
Aurora’s store portfolio breaks down as follows:
UK / International
Coast 207 / 120
Oasis 253 / 242
Warehouse 306 / 150
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