Lingerie Retailer Digitizes to Help Women Find the Right Fit

In a country of 80 million people, there are a lot of women shopping for undies, hosiery, beachwear, and other intimate garments.

Turkey’s Penti, a family business that grew to become the second largest manufacturer of legwear in Europe, is the nation’s undisputed leader in intimate fashion retailing. The brand is a household word, and almost every Turkish woman, regardless of age or social status, is a Penti customer.

“The most important thing for me when it comes to intimate wear is comfort and the right fit,” says Melek Aslan, a regular shopper who often pops into the store on her lunch break. “I know I can always count on Penti for something comfortable, fashionable, and of high quality!”

Melek hits the nail on the head: Quality, comfort, and fashion are the three pillars of the Penti empire. Headquartered in Istanbul, the company has 300 stores across Turkey, plus 106 more in 29 other countries.

Satisfying Different Needs

Penti is poised for growth. Sami Kariyo, Penti CEO,  says the company plans to double in size to 800 stores and is expanding its product line to include leisure wear and accessories.

“Digital transformation is very, very crucial for us,” he says. “We have 36 collections per year which adds up to 4,000 stockkeeping units (SKUs) every year. In addition, half of our customers look online before coming into the store, so personalization plays an important role.”

To help manage all this complexity and develop the foundation for its digital business, Penti is using the SAP S/4HANA solution for fashion and vertical business. Its Internet of Things and machine learning capabilities give retailers the flexibility and agility needed to deliver seamless customer experiences.

Pinar Togay, director of Marketing for Penti, puts it into context: “Turkey is a young country, and 80 percent of the population uses the Internet. We have an extremely strong social presence and get over 30 million views on our website every year because customers frequently log on to see what’s new.”

For a brand like Penti that caters to the masses, developing personal relationships with customers is crucial for maintaining a competitive edge. Engagement with customers must be more targeted and segmented.

Making It Personal

“With SAP we can create a more tailored experience for the customer,” Togay says. “A unified view of our customer data is essential for greater personalization. SAP helps us manage the data so we can get deeper insights into customer habits, needs, and preferences.”

She also stresses the importance of leveraging machine learning to automate processes and improve omni-channel supply assignment and fulfillment based on real-time sales and inventory information. “Retailers that can quickly figure out how to use machine learning to manage their complex businesses will be the big winners,” she asserts.

One new exciting development is the MyBra online tool, which helps women find the right bra size before they even go into the shop.

“It may be hard to believe,” says Pinar, “but 80 percent of women don’t know their correct bra size. And even two women with similar body shapes may not have the same size.”

Penti developed the tool to provide customers with a unique way to determine an exact fit, making every bra purchase an exceptionally positive experience. Equally important, the tool gathers data that Penti can use to shape product development and address size gaps in its collections.

SAP plays a crucial role. “Previously the MyBra data was not integrated with our e-commerce data,” Pinar explains. “SAP enables us to integrate data from all sources, so we can strengthen our personalized approach and deliver better experiences and services.”

After all, as Melek Aslan says, the most important thing for her in a bra is comfort and the right fit. If it’s stunning and sexy, all the better. For her, shopping Penti is a great experience, and she is just one of millions of women who feel the same way.

Follow me on Twitter @magyarj.


This story originally appeared on the SAP Innovation Spotlight on Medium.