Press Centre

George Cuts Its Cloth In Turkey To Slash Lead Times On Fast Fashion

GAAT Acquisition Means Better, Faster, Lower Cost George Supply Chain

  • Shorter supply chain improving stock availability and reducing lead times to around six to eight weeks
  • Faster production allowing George to weather proof its ranges to reflect sales patterns
  • Acquisition important element of Asda’s five year strategy to grow general merchandise and clothing sales
    On the day US parent Walmart prepares to release its Q1 earnings, Asda announced its George clothing business was on track to cut lead times and improve stock availability on its fashion ranges thanks to its acquisition of Turkish supply partner GAAT. The move will enable the retailer to flex its ‘Be Seen In’ ranges to better meet demand and to reflect local market conditions, like unexpected weather conditions.
    The announcement follows a business briefing held last Friday (11th May 2012) by Andrew Moore, Executive Managing Director of George announcing the formal completion of the acquisition of the sourcing division of GAAT, George’s largest clothing supplier.
    GAAT, based in Turkey and established by the Turkmen Group, has built an exclusive partnership with George over the past ten years, working with over 80 manufacturers to deliver George garments to customers both here in the UK and across the world.
    The acquisition of GAAT’s sourcing arm has led to the creation of a new company – George Turkey – signalling a new era for George’s supply chain.
    Andrew Moore said: “The acquisition of the sourcing arm of GAAT is part of our commitment to create a better, faster, lower cost supply chain.  We will now be able to work even more closely with manufacturers, to ensure our garments reach our stores as quickly as possible, and with an even stronger focus on the value and quality our customers expect from us.”
    Andrew explained to an audience of journalists and retail commentators that by bringing production closer to home, George will be able to deliver fashion trends to its customers even more quickly.– reducing lead times to just six to eight weeks and improving availability.
    Stores will also be able to replenish stock more quickly –  cutting in half the time it takes to receive new supplies. The move will ensure customers can buy the products they want, when they want them.
    George’s relationship with GAAT recently came into its own with the onslaught of the wettest April on record.  To ensure customers could stay fashionable whatever the weather, George brought forward over £6 million worth of wet weather products – including macs, wellies and zip up tops.
    As well as investing in its supply chain to further its fashion credentials, George has also ramped up its store offering, with the launch of two new ‘concept stores’ in the UK and stand alone George stores in the Middle East and Channel Islands.
    The new concept stores in Bolden and Leicester have been designed to create a department store shopping experience, rather than a typical supermarket look and feel. The store investment includes improved flooring, lighting and display concepts to encourage customers to browse.  The Fosse Park store saw a sales uplift of 40% in the first week and two further stores will be rolled out in Barrow and Castlepoint this Summer.
    The first George franchise store will open in Jersey in June, in partnership with franchising partner Sandpiper. George will open its first franchise stores in the Middle East later this year with renowned franchiser Azadea.
    Speaking about the growth of the George business, Andrew said: “We’re dialling up our fashionability credentials for customers – both at home and overseas – who are demanding even more for their money in this tough market.  This combined investment in our supply chain, product and store offering clearly shows that George isn’t just ‘good for a supermarket clothing retailer’ it’s competing with the high street.”
    George at Asda is the third largest clothing retailer in the UK by volume, and the largest retailer of kidswear in the UK by volume. The business was established in 1990 and now retails out of all 544 Asda stores in the UK.  The George brand is also used in seven Walmart countries globally.
    Next week (Monday 21st May) Asda will release its second Mumdex economy report, with a focus on kids. The research is expected to show that whatever the state of the economy parents will always prioritise spend on their children. The report will show a third of mums have found refreshing their children‘s wardrobe a struggle, whilst a fifth have found it difficult to dress their children in the latest fashion trends. This means mums are looking for other ways to dress kids in the latest trends, without breaking the bank and  two fifths are buying more children‘s clothes from supermarkets.
    The focus on delivering for kids and mums is returning results for the Geroge business – which is now the clear leader in the kidswear market, with 1 in 5 items of kidswear sold in the UK from George.
Posted in Press Centre on 17 May 2012