UK homeware and fashion brand Cath Kidston has invested in new technology as it looks to tighten processes and reduce manual re-keying of data, particularly around stock management across multiple trading channels.

The retailer is to implement US-based vendor Infor's cloud-based solution, Infor CloudSuite Fashion, which is set to be used to support all business areas including product lifecycle management, purchasing, merchandise inventory management and financials, as well as business intelligence and industry-specific analytics.

Cath Kidston's sees its partnership with Infor as a way of reducing its IT footprint and increasing its speed to market, while gaining better visibility of stock across its global organisation. The business is currently going through a period of significant international business growth, with stores having opened in Europe, China and Thailand, for example, and with the Mexican and Chilean markets now on the radar.

With these plans in place, Cath Kidston has effectively outgrown its existing legacy systems. COO Geert Peeters is confident the Infor investment is the right move for the organisation.

He said: "Having a fashion-focused retail solution delivered via the Cloud means that we will benefit quickly from having all our key systems totally integrated.

"Furthermore, its modern, smartphone-esque interface is slick and intuitive to use, which is hugely beneficial in encouraging user adoption and getting the most out of the system."  

Peeters also highlighted Infor's capacity to support financials on a global basis and provide 24/7 support – particularly in countries which operate within a more complex taxation and regulatory framework – as crucial factors in working with the vendor.

Cath Kidston recruited Lumenia Consulting to evaluate the software market on its behalf, ahead of choosing to invest in Infor's technology.

Paula Rosenblum, managing partner at US-based retail research company RSR, recently described Infor as "one to watch" in the retail technology space, although she noted that there were still elements to add to its suite of solutions such us distributed order management.

"What's important really is to say that there truly is a new big player in town," she said, having attended the vendor's Inforum customer conference in July.

"Their retail team has gone from one dedicated person to more than 650 in a little more than a year."

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