In the 120 days leading up to Christmas, the Cotton On Group successfully opened 151 stores across 12 of its 18 international markets – a rate it believes is unparalleled by most other retailers in the world.
The Group’s ability to successfully deliver stores at such a rapid pace lies in the innovative structure of its global store development and construction teams who work together to manage each phase of the process in house – from planning and design to construction and fit out.
Instead of outsourcing the design and delivery of its stores to external consultants, the Group believes its in-house approach is what sets it apart in today’s global marketplace and is the reason it has been able to create and rollout unique retail spaces at such a rapid pace.
Robert Long, General Manager of Design and Delivery for the Cotton On Group, overseas the growing store development team which consists of designers, store planners and project managers.
“The designers and store planners work in tandem with each of the brands to create a unique and exciting retail space while our project managers play a critical role in ensuring the designs are effectively communicated to our construction team who are tasked with delivering them into store,” says Long.
In FY16 alone, the team has taken the Group’s global store network from 1,305 to 1,474; the largest number of stores the Group has opened in a single fiscal year to date.
And over the next two years, true to its entrepreneurial spirit, the Group will raise the bar even higher – opening more than 400 new stores and taking its global store network to just shy of 1,900 retail spaces.
Long says the team’s ability to deliver stores at such a speed, while upholding the design standards the Group has set, is twofold.
“Opening 151 stores in 120 days was an unbelievable result and a testament to the hard work, dedication and expertise of our team,” he says.
“Early planning, effective allocation of resources and agreed design approaches, principles and details, also underpins the successful delivery of such a programme.”
While the Group may operate at a speed that is unheard of by most other retailers, Long says the pace does not come at the expense of the store’s design, with the team passionate about creating the best possible experience for customers through every square metre of space.
“Through each and every store we aspire to create a powerful and commanding experience that generates a halo effect among our customers,” says Long.