Changing their Store Technology Helped Small SA Children’s Wear Store Chase Rapid National Growth

A Cape Town-based children’s wear chain is set to go big within the next few years, thanks to the advanced management tools and market data within its point of sale solution. Petit Love, a luxury baby-goods retail chain, is targeting expansion to 15 new stores over the next four years, proving that small business can become big business even in South Africa’s tough economic climate.

Clever use of the right technology is credited with taking Petit Love from infancy to a future force to be reckoned with in the South African children’s wear market.

Co-founders Betty Hardcastle and Ange Baard launched Petit Love out of a 50m2 store in Cape Town in 2010. At launch, sales were entered manually into an invoice book, and stock was managed using Excel. But when Petit Love outgrew its first store, the founders quickly realised that they needed better technology solutions to support growth, stock management and market analysis. Vend point of sale was implemented by a local South African partner, and Petit Love has never looked back.

The business quickly grew to comprise an e-commerce portal and three branches in destination centres including Canal Walk and Cape Quarter, with each store attracting up to 1,000 shoppers a day.

“It’s a luxury environment, so we don’t want people to have to queue, but we also need to stay close to our customers and understand them,” says Hardcastle.

“The customer experience has been wonderful, and Vend has definitely reduced admin. I can access it on my phone, and see exactly what each store is selling, what is profitable, and where our stock levels are sitting. Vend ticked all the boxes for us – robust inventory management features, multi-store location management, and a beautiful system our customers love. The ability to offer customers e-receipts and gift cards, as well as Vend’s sleek design, allows us to deliver a luxury shopping experience that matches our products. We became a more agile business, and with that, obviously, came profits and growth,” she says.

The system saves at least eight hours a week in admin, integrates with the company’s accounting systems, and delivers seamless inventory management across three locations.

They’ve been able to move on from the days of excessive manual admin, and now the Petit Love team trusts Vend to take care of those tasks while they focus on what really matters: delighting their customers, and growing their business across the country.

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