White Stuff turns to Retail Assist

Award-winning fashion and lifestyle retailer White Stuff, which was named Draper's 'Retailer of the Year' in 2009 and was rated as one of the Sunday Times 'Top 100 Companies to Work For', has become the latest client to join Retail Assist's growing customer base.



White Stuff will use Retail Assist for an out-of-hours Help Desk service to support its shop operations nationwide during evenings and weekends. The retailer has also retained Retail Assist to remotely monitor its servers and manage its critical SQL reporting schedules on a constant basis, 24x7, 365 days a year. These measures are designed to protect the consistency and resilience of business operations.

White Stuff's expansion has included a fast-paced store opening programme.  In 2004, it had 15 shops. Today it has 70 shops, with plans to open another 10 over the next 6 months; and it holds 100 wholesale accounts. Being a fully multichannel retailer, it also boasts a flourishing e-commerce site and a burgeoning catalogue business. White Stuff has succeeded in preserving the values and unstuffy style that characterised its early years, at the same time as diversifying and building a well-regarded corporation.  

White Stuff's Head of IT, Mike Padfield, was faced with the challenge of making sure the IT function kept pace with growth, whilst controlling central IT costs.  He observes: "As the White Stuff shop estate expands and our trading hours become longer, our shop staff need to be confident that they can get support that they are accustomed to."

Padfield decided to outsource to a specialist provider.  "I knew Retail Assist was providing out-of-hours and 24/365 Help Desk services to many major retailers and had the skills to do this well.  The service levels they offered us mean we can maintain the quality of our IT support, no matter how fast we grow. Furthermore, Retail Assist's 'shared service' model makes this cost-effective."  

This contract builds on Retail Assist's experience of providing an out-of-hours Help Desk for companies such as Jane Norman and Harvey Nichols.  Its remote monitoring services are used by retailers such as Selfridges in the UK and A|Wear in Dublin.

Concludes Retail Assist's managed services director, Dan Smith: "We're delighted to welcome White Stuff as a client, especially at this exciting time of expansion.  By using the services of our experienced Help Desk Call Analysts, we can ensure that support calls from White Stuff store staff will be answered promptly and efficiently, whilst the internal IT team are free to shape the company's future."

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