Free Record Shop Tunes High-Fidelity Retail Operations with SAP

Feature Article | May 31, 2006 by SAP News

SAP AG announced that Free Record Shop, a Dutch entertainment products retailer with nearly 400 stores in five European countries, is empowering 90 percent of its more than 2,000 employees with retail industry-specific software from SAP. Following a steady surge of organic growth, the company is gearing up for further expansion and business model innovation with the SAP for Retail solution portfolio to enable real-time transactions across purchasing, sales, finance and logistics. With the aim of enhancing its agility and responsiveness, the company is rolling out SAP software to replace legacy systems that have reached their functional limits in keeping pace with the fast-moving consumer goods market.

What started in the early 1970s as a two-meter by nine-meter shop in Holland has grown into an international multi-channel retailer boasting a total annual revenue of approximately EUR 400 million and specializing in retail and online sales of entertainment products such as movies, music, games and books. While growing organically and evolving with the dramatic shifts in purchasing, logistics and consumer buying habits in the retail and entertainment sectors, Free Record Shop’s existing software environment did not provide sufficient functionality to accommodate further changes cost-effectively. The cost of software maintenance and customization simply outweighed the potential business benefit.
Recognizing that the retail market of tomorrow is already advancing rapidly today, the company needed an IT and business platform that allows real-time transactions, puts integrated processes at employees’ fingertips and helps manage the increasing complexity of changing corporate structures.
“We needed to integrate purchasing, logistics, sales and financial processes to boost employee efficiency and enable the real-time business transactions and market insight that more and more define who has the edge in the retail and entertainment sectors,” said Marvin Kuivenhoven, project manager, Free Record Shop Holding. “We chose SAP for its retail industry expertise and the maturity and comprehensive functionality of its industry solution, which meets our requirements with a minimum of customization. With its strong product development and deep industry functionality, SAP has shown a strong commitment to the retail sector, and we view SAP as a trusted partner and best-suited strategic advisor to help support our future growth strategy.”
The company’s most important consideration in choosing SAP for Retail was the need to ensure a seamless integration of its logistics center into its business processes, improving the alignment between sales and replenishment forecasting and helping ensure timely delivery of fast-moving products to the shops and via online channels. After conducting a thorough review of the offerings of major software vendors, Free Record Shop found SAP for Retail to offer the superior functionality and adaptability.
“For 30 years, Free Record Shop has been at the forefront of innovation as an early adopter of multi-channel retailing, successfully competing in a market that sees constant change,” said Rick Chavie, senior vice president of Industry Solution Management, Trading, SAP. “While underlining SAP’s commitment to the retail industry, Free Record Shop’s choice for SAP stands as a yet another confirmation of our strategy of achieving organic growth by providing customer and industry-driven solutions that meet today’s business demands and plot a secure and innovative road map for tomorrow’s best-run companies.”

Source: SAP AG

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