Business Network

J. Renee Group Steps up seasonal sales 

Coby Sparks CEO, J. Renee Group explains how they help retailers cut time-to-market for in-demand footwear styles

For more than 45 years, J. Renee Group has designed and manufactured bold footwear styles across a range of categories, including comfort, casual dress, dress, and special occasion. Through our LDP brand, we also offer luxe, on-trend fashions crafted in the finest materials with unique comfort features.

We’ve been in business for almost half a century. In that time, J. Renee Group has cultivated strong relationships with a wide variety of retail partners across the United States—from independent mom-and-pop establishments to large department stores and nationwide footwear chains.

Pivoting to e-commerce

Over the years, retail trends have shifted significantly. One of the biggest changes we’ve seen recently is the rise of e-commerce, which is now one of the most popular ways for consumers to browse and buy our products. Today, the digital channel accounts for around 40% of all J. Renee Group product sales. Therefore, we want to make it as easy as possible for retailers to display our products on their e-commerce sites.

To market our products, our retail partners rely on us to provide them with descriptive information and compelling images. This includes product attributes such as size, color and Universal Product Code (UPC), as well as promotional photos showing each shoe from several different angles.

Fashions change quickly, and no one knows when a new style is going to take off. As a result, retailers must launch new lines in their online and digital stores as close as possible to the start of the season in order to maximize sales. Our decades-long partnership with OpenText is so important to J. Renee Group because it has allowed us to make it easy for partners to access our product attributes and images and seize sales opportunities.

For more than 20 years, we’ve relied on OpenText Active Catalogue and OpenText VAN to share vital product data with our retail partners—from basic information, such as UPCs, to fine-grained product attributes, such as heel heights. We first deployed the OpenText solutions to enable one of our largest retail partners to capture UPCs for new products automatically. Since then, we’ve used the OpenText solutions to do much, much more.

Slashing time to market

Before we adopted OpenText, we shared product data using spreadsheets. But when you compare that manual approach with Active Catalogue, the OpenText solution has clear advantages.

Whenever we develop a new product line, our team populates the OpenText solution with all the attributes and images retailers need to launch that product on their digital channels. Retailers don’t have to painstakingly trawl through spreadsheets and manually rekey the data into their systems. Instead, they can capture all the attributes and images from OpenText Active Catalogue automatically.

In this way, the catalog approach offers massive time-savings. In fact, one of our retail partners has cut their time-to-market for launching new products online by up to three weeks. In a fast-moving industry like fashion, it’s difficult to overstate the value of getting to market so quickly. Thanks to our OpenText solutions, we’re helping retailers make the most of every sales opportunity throughout the season—a win-win for both J. Renee Group and our trading partners.

Guiding the industry

One of the things we value most about our relationship with OpenText is their commitment to supporting our business and the retail industry at large. When we first adopted the solutions, messaging standards were in a period of rapid evolution—and OpenText has always worked hard to implement the latest EDI requirements in their solutions.

We also greatly appreciate the effort that OpenText puts into fostering closer relationships between all stakeholders in the retail ecosystem. For example, OpenText works closely with GS1, the global standards organization that creates best practices for retailers and vendors to share and use data to sell their products.

I co-chair the GS1 Extended Attributes and Images committee and having a global partner like OpenText amplify our work is a major advantage. OpenText has played a crucial role in helping J. Renee Group collaborate with retailers for over 20 years, and we’re looking forward to continuing the partnership for years to come. We’re excited to introduce even more retailers to the benefits of a catalog-based approach for sharing product information—and we know that OpenText is the perfect partner to spread the message.

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