Balancing inventory and stock management are common challenges most businesses struggle with, and it’s even more challenging for multi-brand retailers due to their unique inventory, Today we'll discuss such retailers, the benefits, struggles, and the solution to help them overcome the challenges and grow.

What is a multi-brand retailer and what are its advantages

A Multi-brand retailer includes more than one brand’s products. For example, a department store with many brands in various categories, all in one spot.

The advantages of multi-brands are obvious, allowing clients to have a one-stop shopping experience where all items are located in one store. It can be beneficial when the client wants a certain item but not a specific brand, or when a client wants to buy a few different items and would love to have all of them in one location.

Retailers benefit from multi-brand stores because they are able to attract a much wider range of clients since they are not stuck in a single category or brand.

Although there are many advantages to multi-brand stores, managing a multi-brand store can sometimes be challenging. Especially when speaking of inventory management.

Common multi-brand inventory challenges

Inventory management is complex for every business to say the least. But imagine managing multiple processes simultaneously, each with its own flow, requirements, and regulations. Here are some of the struggles:

Wide Range of Products 

Multi-brand stores offer a wide variety of products from different brands. Managing inventory for numerous items with different SKUs (stock-keeping units), sizes, colors, and styles can be complex and time-consuming.

Forecasting Demand

Predicting consumer demand accurately across different brands and products is crucial for optimizing inventory levels. Multi-brand stores need to consider individual brand popularity, seasonality, trends, and customer preferences to avoid overstocking or understocking items.

Managing Stock Replenishment

Replenishing stock in multi-brand stores can be complicated due to varying lead times, minimum order quantities, and terms set by different brands. Coordinating timely orders to ensure products are available when needed is essential to avoid running out of stock.

Handling Returns and Exchanges

Dealing with returns and exchanges of products from different brands can be complex. Each brand may have its own return policies, procedures, and requirements, which need to be efficiently managed to maintain customer satisfaction and minimize losses.

Inventory Tracking and Visibility

With multiple brands and products, maintaining real-time visibility and accurate tracking of inventory becomes crucial. Implementing robust inventory management systems or software that can handle a large number of SKUs and provide accurate stock levels is necessary.

Often, companies struggle to implement one procedure or flow for each of their brands and categories. Because of the complexity of the implementation, solution providers tend to decline to work for them either.

How Chainlane helps Multi-brand retailers and department stores get full visibility across all inventory

In many cases, multi-brand retailers are held back due to the fact that they own many different SKUs, and barcodes which makes it difficult for them to automate and improve their stocktaking and inventory management.

This doesn’t have to be the way. Chainlane developed an outstanding feature that allows translating all barcodes into one “language”, using it to generate Electronic Product Code (EPC) for all of them like they were of one source. We call it Rcode.

With Chainlane’s Rcode, multi-brands can operate like any other retailer, implementing full visibility systems, tagging their items, and gaining the comfort of asset tracking technologies such as RFID, BLE, and more.

This unique feature along with the many other benefits Chainlane provides makes it the perfect solution that department stores and other multi-brands are searching for. Giving them complete visibility and real-time insights into their inventory, allowing them to improve inventory management and planning.

In conclusion, multi-brand retailers face unique inventory management challenges to track all the different brands, and make sure all is in accurate sync to both answer customer demands and make sure replenishment is effective and efficient but solutions like Chainlane can help overcome them.

Chainlane's innovative barcode translation and EPC generation feature streamlines inventory management, providing complete visibility and real-time insights. By utilizing such tools, multi-brand retailers can optimize stock visibility, improve inventory management, and drive business growth.