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Leading Norwegian discount-store chain Europris has selected RELEX for integrated planning and optimisation of its entire supply chain, involving store operations and central warehousing.

The rapidly growing Europris, Norway’s leading discount retailer, with a turnover of over €600M a year, has selected RELEX to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of its integrated supply chain, which encompasses a central warehouse in Fredrikstad and more than 200 stores, all over Norway.

The main aim is to ensure integrated control of the entire supply chain. At the outset, Europris already had adequate support for purchasing for its central warehouse, but wanted: a fully integrated solution for management and optimisation of inventory both in the stores and at the central warehouse, working from the same numbers. Furthermore, Europris wanted to improve its control of seasonal and promotional product lines.
“We have a wide assortment, which includes, for example, groceries, hardware, gift items, utility articles, linens, toys, and seasonal goods. For us, it was important to get an integrated solution that would work both for our continuous assortment and for our seasonal lines and promotions,” says Knut Spaeren, the Purchasing Director of Europris.

“We were impressed with RELEX’s solution for integrated supply chain planning. It was important for us to see clearly how information on all planned changes in store replenishment, related to campaigns, assortment changes in the stores, changes in stores’ presentation stock, etc. are automatically taken into account in material-requirements planning at the central warehouse. With the implementation of RELEX’s solution, we can move our focus from routine stock replenishment to supply chain analysis and control,” says Supply Chain Manager Marco Pair. “In addition, we will get better support and greater automation of campaign forecasting and forecasting of seasonal patterns,” he continues.

Because of the large number of seasonal and promotional items, efficient campaign forecasting and stock allocations are of paramount importance to Europris. “Previously, we relied on the stores to place orders for campaign and seasonal items, with very limited support from the central organisation. This has tied up lots of resources in the stores and in many cases led to ineffective stock allocation between the stores. With RELEX, we will be able to create store-specific sales plans automatically, taking into account the actual sales pattern of each individual store. This will have a huge impact on our efficiency and on-shelf availability,” says Mirielle Torgersen, the Project Manager responsible for the selection of supply chain planning tools.

As a large, complex retailer, Europris is a natural addition to RELEX’s customer portfolio. “Europris is a great partner for us. The combination of a multi-echelon supply chain, frequent promotions, and wide and varying seasonal assortments presents a great opportunity to show what can be achieved through integrated retail planning. Furthermore, as Europris clearly has a great deal of supply chain knowledge and competence in-house and the ability to implement new processes and tools, we believe that great results can be achieved quickly,” comments Johanna Småros, the Co-Founder and Director of RELEX operations in the Scandinavian market.

Europris is a retail chain with over 216 discount stores in Norway. Europris is currently expanding and modernizing its store network. The store network consists of both franchisee-owned and group-owned stores. The chain has grown fast over a prolonged period of time with total sales growth averaging 8% per year since 2005. So far in 2014, the chain is on target to achieve a record-breaking growth rate in Like-for-Like stores above 6%, as well as opening new stores.

Europris’ concept in short is: Always low prices, wide assortment and great promotions. Europris offers a wide range of groceries, hardware, gifts, utensils, linens, toys and seasonal goods. The assortment contains both private label products and well-known brands.