Fortnum & Mason shop

Source: Fortnum & Mason

The new software would improve availability across Fortnum’s stores and concessions

Fortnum & Mason has upgraded its supply and retail forecasting systems through a new partnership with Relex Solutions.

The new agreement comes amid a wider reshuffle and upgrade of the 317-year-old grocer’s supply chain, after a spike in Christmas demand left it unable to fulfil some orders. It led Fortnum’s to restrict the sale of some popular Christmas lines over the festive period after reaching capacity.

Following annual results in January, CEO Tom Athron revealed Fortnum’s would simplify its supply chain network in response. By closing its warehouse sites in Ely and Northampton, and instead moving operations to a single site in Corby, Fortnum’s would effectively double its warehouse capacity and enable better monitoring of stock levels, Athron said at the time.

The new partnership would see Fortnum’s replace its existing legacy system, with Relex’s integrated retail planning and supply forecasting technology.

It would enable Fortnum’s to “seamlessly align demand with supply” to ensure optimal stock levels. The technology would also enable Fortnum’s to automate parts of its replenishment processes at its flagship Piccadilly store and network of travel concessions.

“We have full confidence in our team and in choosing Relex, recognised as a leading retail planning solution in the market for grocery and retail,” said Fortnum & Mason chief operating and innovation officer Iain Robertson.

“Their long-term vision, innovative mindset and roadmap perfectly align with our strategic direction for the future.”

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The high-end retailer stocks around 30,000 SKUs across grocery, home, beauty and fashion, in its stores and growing e-commerce business. By enabling more accurate monitoring of stock levels, the new system would “elevate customer experience” and increase sales, Fortnum’s said.

Consultancy Dementex will support the integration of the new technology across Fortnum’s operations.

“Working with Fortnum & Mason, a business celebrated for its exceptional quality and service, is a great honour. Their innovative and ambitious team is always looking to push the business forward, a quality that resonates with Relex’s own ethos,” said Relex Europe and Africa SVP Jason Berry.

“Together, we’ve identified significant opportunities to enhance availability, reduce wastage, and improve both stock holding and operational efficiency for them and are committed to delivering real value, quickly.”