UNIQLO drives IT solutions with SAP

supports UK launch with implementation in under six months

LondonUNIQLO, the clothes store from Japan, is trading in the UK with the support of mySAP.com. It is using SAP’s e-business platform to integrate its retail and financial solutions.

The company, which is owned by Fast Retailing (UK) Ltd., opened four London-region stores in September with a phase one roll-out of mySAP Retail and mySAP Financials to support the company’s rapid expansion across the UK.

UNIQLO’s UK implementation of mySAP has been designed to maintain and improve the efficient business practices that are the trademark of its Japanese parent. The company expects to benefit from operational efficiency through effective planning, efficient allocation and replenishment of stock, as well as reduced transaction costs.

At this early stage, the major achievement has been the completion of the initial implementation in under six months. Novasoft, an SAP consultancy, has provided business support to Uniqlo during the implementation process.

The working practices enabled by the SAP implementation are designed to help UNIQLO to provide a better quality of service to both internal and external customers. The system will also enable improved strategic decision making to take place by integrating financial and business performance information with management processes.

“UNIQLO has been enormously successful in Japan and expects to do the same in the UK,” said Rupin Kotecha, business development manager for retail at SAP UK. “In order to do so, it needs a flexible and robust system that can handle ordering processes and stock control efficiently, so that it can focus its efforts on expanding throughout the UK and continental Europe. The SAP solutions in place will make internal communication far more effective, providing a solid foundation for UNIQLO to build on.”

The solutions are currently used within UNIQLO’s London Store Support Centre and its initial four stores. The system interfaces with POS (point of sale) and third-party logistics systems and will be an integral element of the company’s plan to open at least 50 stores by the end of 2003.

Fast Retailing has also begun implementation of mySAP HR to support its growing employee base, which will be around 250 by December 2001. This is an early example of how UNIQLO is able to exploit the wide variety of solutions available in the mySAP suite, in order to respond rapidly to the evolving demands of a new and growing business.