The Priory increase order capacity by
233% with Brightpearl
The Priory is by far Yorkshire’s most exciting menswear retailer. Split over two stores they take pleasure in
providing a great customer experience; selling globally sourced premium menswear, streetwear and skate brands.
Established in 2012, The Priory was the brainchild of company director Vincent Clark who didn’t buy into the notion that you couldn’t make a premium menswear store work in a quiet seaside town. With little financial investment and the help of company directors Leo Jarvis and Jack Read, the three local lads are now the owners of two successful men's stores on the Bridlington High Street. The Priory sells 65 carefully selected brands across multiple channels; via its two physical stores, their website built on Shopify, and selling on both eBay and Amazon marketplaces.
The Priory started off their first store primarily stocking a mixture of premium menswear brands & streetwear with the latest lines from Carhartt, Edwin, Fred Perry, HUF, Nike SB and many more. The Priory was attracting lots of local footfall and the online side of the business was also gaining traction gradually growing to up to 70% of their total revenue . As they continued to secure deals with more brands the collection started to get bigger until they realized they were running out of space. To keep up with customer demand and continue their rapid growth they needed more space to store stock, pick, pack, and ship.
In 2013 The Priory took on the site of Victoria Mill which used to be ‘Tony’s Textiles’, originally they’d thought about using the space for storage, however it soon became apparent they could turn the space into a unique destination to shop. Victoria Mill has heaps of personality, as you walk in The Priory have the forefront of the space displaying their exclusive premium menswear range. They are accompanied by three other local independent entrepreneurs; a traditional barber's, an artisan coffee shop and an organic cosmetics company transforming the space into a small boutique style department store. With the launch of the new store the sales split shifted; 40% of sales through both stores, 40% via Shopify, and 20% between eBay and also Amazon. We managed to find some time out of Leo’s busy schedule to learn more about The Priory.
When The Priory started out they were selling in store, via their Shopify website and eBay. If something sold in store they’d have to manually go into eBay and Shopify to update their stock at the end of every day. “It was a nightmare, we knew we needed a system to help support and scale the business - we wanted to be able to process orders quickly, and efficiently sell across multiple sales channels.”
The Priory started off using ChannelGrabber but had some issues using the system. Leo explains; “We couldn’t get any data from [ChannelGrabber] it was like running the business blind. We couldn’t see our sales history, order processing didn't work, and it didn’t sync our inventory across all of our channels. It was cheap but it just didn’t work for us! I guess you get what you pay for. We felt like it was holding us back.”
The knock on effect when issues start to happen behind the scenes can be costly. If stock comes in and there is an error you can sell an item you don’t have or double sell. “If there’s ever mistake which affects our customers we’ll do our best to correct them or offer a discount - but those costs can eventually add up. By minimizing errors you can save yourself a lot of money, not only from direct refunds and discounts but the entire workflow of the business.”
- Repetitive, time consuming manual processes
- Inventory management; linking the stock from Shopify, in-store and marketplaces
- Disparate systems for order dispatching
- Customer errors resulting in lost sales and discounting
- The lack of any data to make informed decisions.
Following their poor experience with ChannelGrabber The Priory implemented Brightpearl in 2013, they’ve since experienced over a 30% increase in revenue. Repetitive and time consuming manual tasks have been drastically reduced freeing up time to think about marketing and sourcing exclusive deals with suppliers.
“We’ve learnt heaps as business owners and understand our business better, combining that with software like Brightpearl to support us we’re a lot more confident as a business. Brightpearl has relieved a lot of the pressure worrying about menial processes; notably order dispatching is much quicker and we no longer need to log into several different software systems. With Brightpearl we’re saving about 60 hours per month and we’ve increased our order capacity from 30 orders a day to 100 orders.”
One of the most important features for Leo at The Priory is having access to reliable business data; from inventory, sales history, suppliers and customer data to money in and out of the business. With integrated accounting every transaction that goes through the business is being recorded in Brightpearl. “The year end accounts have previously always been a mess but we can easily do our accounts quarterly with Brightpearl because all of our financial transactions are being tracked. Which gives us more insight into what we’re spending, what we can improve, which stock needs clearing, and where changes need to be made.”
The operational efficiencies that The Priory’s gained with Brightpearl coupled with their aspirations to provide a truly personal customer experience means their future looks very bright. “We're much more stable now and I think that's the key - you don't want to grow too fast. You need to be able to track your progress and see exactly where you’re at to be able to move forward as a business.”
Leo summed up; “We’re lucky enough to work in an extremely creative industry with some amazing brands and exciting products. We’ve got a huge list of improvements that should make for an exciting year but we’re able to do that confidently because we’ve got a solid foundation to build from.”