Wilsons Leather Leverages DHL for Nationwide Retail Distribution Solution
PLANTATION, FL – May 3, 2005 / DHL, the world`s leading global express delivery and logistics company, announced today it has been awarded a 5-year, multi-million dollar agreement by Wilsons The Leather Experts Inc. (NASDAQ: WLSN), the leading specialty retailer of leather outerwear, accessories and apparel in the United States. Under the new agreement, DHL will provide a nationwide retail distribution program for the delivery of Wilsons Leather merchandise throughout the United States, as well as the import and export of product samples between the U.S. and China, India and Hong Kong.
With the retail environment becoming increasingly competitive, Wilsons Leather was looking for a full service transportation and logistics provider that could both improve the service performance of their current partners, as well as integrate solutions that touched each link of the company’s global supply chain -- thus streamlining the company’s distribution model and ultimately improving their competitive position. After a thorough evaluation and successful implementation of multiple pilot programs across DHL services, Wilsons Leather selected DHL to provide a comprehensive portfolio of services, including US domestic express and ground services, and international air express.
“Although DHL consistently exceeded Wilsons Leather’s delivery performance standards for on-time service during the pilot, the way DHL does business with its customers really sold us,” said Michael Tripp, Director of Logistics with Wilsons Leather. “DHL’s philosophy of doing business – adapting policies, procedures, and systems so they actually revolve around the customer -- makes DHL easy to work with.”
DHL tightened the supply chain for Wilsons Leather by streamlining its distribution network within the United States. Replenishment merchandise is now distributed from the Wilsons Leather distribution center in Minneapolis, Minnesota via DHL’s domestic delivery network to over 430 Wilsons Leather retail stores throughout the country. DHL is also partnering with Wilsons Leather on a west coast distribution center to further tighten the company’s supply chain. This will allow product to flow directly to 430 retail stores from ocean ports, eliminating intermodal movement of ocean containers.
DHL will also be implementing several custom solutions not available to Wilsons Leather through a previous carrier, including dedicated customer service lines and staff. DHL is automating shipment preparation by integrating the DHL information system with Wilsons Leather’s proprietary legacy system at the Minneapolis distribution center. DHL will also integrate DHL CorporateShip, DHL’s web-based shipping product, at all 430 Wilsons Leather retail stores for managing returns, balancing inventory among stores and returning inventory back to its U.S. distribution center. Wilsons Leather has already found that DHL CorporateShip has helped the company achieve greater flexibility over its store shipments, a vast improvement over the manual airwaybills used through Wilsons Leather’s previous provider.
“All Wilsons Leather apparel orders have definite in-store date deadlines that must be met in order to fulfill customer demand, especially during our peak sales periods,” said Michael Tripp. “DHL developed a logistics solution utilizing its expansive international and domestic network to ensure optimum inventory levels by allowing Wilsons Leather to replenish merchandise rapidly from our overseas manufacturers, ultimately improving satisfaction to our customers.”
“We are seeing a larger number of America’s retailers looking to create a competitive advantage by implementing end-to-end solutions with a single provider who can leverage the power of a strong global delivery and logistics network,” said Martin Larson, vice president of national accounts for DHL. “From vendor and purchase order management, through import transportation, customs brokerage, and delivery to the consumer, DHL is helping clients like Wilsons Leather optimize their supply pipeline for superior results.”
With annual revenues over $32 billion in 2004, DHL is the global market leader of the international express and logistics industry, specializing in providing innovative and customized solutions from a single source.
DHL offers expertise in express, air and ocean freight, overland transport and logistics solutions, combined with worldwide coverage and an in-depth understanding of local markets. Over 170,000 employees are dedicated to providing fast and reliable services that exceed customers’ expectations. Founded in San Francisco in 1969, DHL’s international network links more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. For more information on DHL, please visit www.dhl.com.
About Wilsons Leather
Wilsons Leather is the leading specialty retailer of leather outerwear, accessories and apparel in the United States. As of April 2, 2005, Wilsons Leather operated 430 stores located in 45 states, including 308 mall stores, 107 outlet stores and 15 airport stores. The Company regularly supplements its permanent mall stores with seasonal stores during its peak selling season from October through January.
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