Petit Bateau expanded from wholesale to retail with Vend

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Fashion Icon Fashion

Multi Store Icon Multi-store

Location AU Australia
Petit Bateau Logo

Founded in France in 1893, Petit Bateau offers a full line of clothing and underwear made for children of all ages. High quality French styling makes Petit Bateau unique and loved worldwide.

Petit Bateau has two brick and mortar stores in Australia - in Hawksburn, Melbourne and Mosman, Sydney - operated by Button Agency, the brand’s Australian wholesaler and distributor.

At a Glance

5,000+ SKUs managed every season

Using Vend, Petit Bateau is able to:

  • Manage, track and reorder an inventory of over 5,000 SKUs including variants.
  • Efficiently order stock and easily manage reorders.
  • Make informed decisions around ordering and staffing.
  • Save time doing weekly & monthly reporting to Petit Bateau’s ‘mother house’ HQ in France.
  • Save costs by integrating with their existing accounting and ecommerce software.

The Challenge

Childrenswear retailer Petit Bateau needed a POS solution that could handle large scale inventory and extensive reporting.

After years of operating a wholesale business distributing European childrenswear brands, Lauren Downs discovered that retail was going to be a different game when she decided to open the first Petit Bateau store in Australia.

“One immediate challenge was entering SKUs into our systems,” says Lauren. “Petit Bateau has 9 sizes for each variant of a garment, so we’d be dealing with 5,000 SKUs each season. Our POS needs to cope with the volume but be flexible at the same time.”

Upon meeting SMB Consultants at the Life InStyle trade show in Sydney, Lauren realised she needed the help of an integration partner — a team with expertise across retail, wholesale, accounting and ecommerce who could help her choose the right mix for her new retail business.

“As a wholesaler going into the retail world, we were looking at a system that could grow with us as a business... Vend is actually growing with us; they’re constantly updating their software and serving all the needs we have.”
Lauren Downs, Managing Director at Button Agency

The Solution

SMB Consultants created an easy to use retail solution with Vend to help simplify every part of Petit Bateau’s operation.

After discussing Petit Bateau’s unique needs SMB Consultants created a tailored solution that worked for them, creating a fully integrated retail management solution using Vend combined with Xero, Tyro and Shopify.

“The catalyst in the beginning was that Lauren was using Xero,” says Jeffrey Atizado, Joint Managing Director at SMB Consultants. “So we started with Vend and we made sure Vend worked for her.”

With such a large inventory to upload and manage every season, Petit Bateau saves hours each week by importing Petit Bateau’s inventory and price list into Vend in bulk.

“We used to run a system that couldn’t recognise spreadsheets,” says Lauren. “Now I do a bit of work to manipulate the price lists from our mother house in France, upload them into Vend, and we’re ready for a new season.”

Petit Bateau’s store managers love Vend’s training mode and reporting functions. “Vend has a function where you can turn the system into training mode. Our staff learn so much more quickly,” says Lauren. “Vend reporting provides store managers with a lot of valuable information, such as dollar value, time of sale and total sales by each sales assistant.”

The ability to stay of top of things anywhere, anytime is a huge advantage for Lauren who travels frequently. “I really like that I can be sitting in our head office, or in another location, or travelling overseas in a different time zone and I can log into Vend and check the figures for the day, which is fantastic.”

Lauren also loves Vend’s ability to connect to simple, compact hardware. “Having an iPad, scanner, small cash drawer and docket printer means our retail store counters weren’t taken up with bulky hardware, which is really important when you deal with customers.”

“Vend was an easy choice for Petit Bateau because it was integrated with their accounting package and online store. It helps Lauren streamline the way she manages her business.”
Jeffrey Atizado, Joint Managing Director at SMB Consultants

Petit Bateau brings their solution together with the best in retail

The Results

Petit Bateau got set up for success quickly, with inventory management and reporting helping them make informed decisions and track their results with ease.

Partnering up with SMB Consultants meant all systems were ready to go ahead of Petit Bateau’s Hawksburn store opening.

“SMB Consultants went through our data and processes, made recommendations, integrated our systems and even came out and put all our hardware in place,” says Lauren. “All we had to do was train our staff, which we did together.”

Armed with insights from Vend, Lauren can now keep track of stock and make more informed decisions around reordering.

“I’m able to reorder the correct stock now. Vend data also shows me what I don’t need to reorder, which was equally as important.”

Vend insights also helps Petit Bateau keep track of what sales are being made when, which they can then use to more effectively roster staff.

“We’re able to identify key times that our store requires additional staff,” says Lauren. “Which means we can be cost effective with our staffing.”

Vend reporting also saves Petit Bateau hours of administration each and every week. “We need to provide a weekly sales summary to our mother house, including sales, basket size, number of customers and garments sold,” says Lauren. “At the click of a button we’re able to extract this data on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.”

Petit Bateau made such a great start in the retail space leveraging Vend’s integrations they’ve recently opened a second store in Mosman, Sydney.

“I would highly recommend Vend,” says Lauren. “It's a fantastic system, it's easy to use, it's easy to train my staff, and more importantly it gives me all the information I need to run my small business.”

“When I consider what we pay for Vend against what we can do with Vend, it is amazing value for money. I believe Vend does save me money, because from a retail perspective it is a one-stop shop.”
Lauren Downs, Managing Director at Button Agency

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