V&D: the renaissance of an old-established department store – a case study on strategic fashion supply chain management

W. Dittert, S. Weijers, T. Heemskerk, R. Tukker

This paper presents the results of a case study on V&D – one out of four Dutch fashion companies investigated during a research project of HAN University of Applied Sciences on the role of supply chain management (SCM) in fashion companies. For this purpose, the most important internal elements of SCM that determine V&D’s success have been analysed. After a study of literature on SCM and the fashion industry, the function of SCM within the company has been analysed, mainly based on the two extended interviews conducted with the COO and the logistics manager of V&D. Based on the specific context of SCM at V&D, an analysis of its function and importance in this context has been made, and its influence on the department store chain’s performance determined. The study also shows how closely interwoven SCM and marketing strategy are in the example of V&D’s make-over. The most important internal elements of SCM that determine V&D’s success, derived from the case study are: (1) a clear definition and alignment of the business and supply chain strategy, (2) managements’ acknowledgement of SCM as a strategic weapon and (3) close collaboration and efficient cooperation among internal departments. V&D may serve as an example of successful SCM in fashion companies. (Fashion) managers can gain ideas for improving processes and organizational structures in order to maximise the benefits of SCM. The study helps us understand the critical paths of versatile supply chains. Its conclusions will inspire companies of other industries with similarly complex and dynamic structures, to apply SCM any better.

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