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Womenswear fashion retailer Mint Velvet was this weekend listed in the Sunday Times PwC Profit Track 100 ‘Ones to Recognise’ supplement. Mint Velvet was selected to appear on the 2012 list due to the company’s impressive business model and growth over the past three years.
Launched in October 2009, the Mint Velvet business grew rapidly, with sales of £12m for the 2010-11 financial year, quadrupling the trading figures achieved in the company’s first year. Furthermore, the business now employs a total of 350 people. In 2010 Mint Velvet and Retail Assist gained earlier recognition and won ‘Project Implementation of the Year’ at the Retail Week Technology Awards. This was founded on Retail Assist’s implementation of their supply chain solution Merret for merchandising management, supply chain and warehousing – integrated with partner solution Infinity PoS, integration to the ecommerce channel, and building a complete IT infrastructure for their teams.
Stuart Grant, Commercial Director at Mint Velvet comments: “Mint Velvet has continued to successfully expand over the past year and we’re delighted with the recent recognition by the Sunday Times PwC Profit Track 100. The IT solutions we put in place have allowed us to operate as a multichannel retailer from conception. Our outsourced IT partner Retail Assist has supported the entire journey, and are extending this support to work with us on new store rollouts and upgrading our network and hardware in order to meet the needs of the growing business.”
Mint Velvet trades from 91 locations including 8 stand alone boutique stores, with an additional 3 openings planned for Spring 2012 in Harrogate, Guildford and Farnham. The company’s eventual aim is to have 20 to 30 stand alone stores in affluent market town locations. In addition, Mint Velvet operates 83 concession stores in premium department stores. The brand can now be found in every John Lewis Fashion store. This is considerable growth from the original 2 solus stores and 14 House of Fraser concessions that Retail Assist initially supported.
The team putting the Fast Track feature together were impressed by the fact that Mint Velvet, with the help of Retail Assist, launched as a multichannel business from the outset. Nevertheless, Mint Velvet has continued to adapt to the ever-changing needs of consumers; the business was quick off the mark in launching a mobile optimised website last year. Furthermore, Retail Assist has been deploying tablet devices to the Mint Velvet stand alone boutiques, allowing shoppers in these stores a to browse the full Mint Velvet range and pick up styling tips from mintvelvet.co.uk.
Nigel Illingworth, Retail Assist Chief Executive Officer of Merret observes: “Mint Velvet have achieved impressive growth in such a short time frame and this is set to continue. We were delighted to hear they are listed in the ‘Ones to Recognise’ category. The Ecommerce operation is a key area of growth for the business. The Merret solution used for merchandise management, supply chain and warehousing will facilitate ‘collect from store’ sales, meaning that consumers can buy online at mintvelvet.co.uk and pick up their purchases in-store.”