There's plenty of excess merchandise and it's not always easy to unload.But Inturn, the b-to-b technology introduced last April to automate how buyers procure excess inventory from brands, is extending its service to make it easier for brands to transact globally."Initially, Inturn addressed some of the pain points that existed in the domestic U.S. market. What we are really addressing here are the issues of going into international markets which don’t allow major brands to operate in the same way, the reason being that the products they make and distribute in different countries have different perceived values," Ronen Lazar, Inturn's chief executive officer and cofounder, told WWD."We are simply providing robust tools to enable them to liquidate product in international markets. In Europe, there can be a discrepancy in the pricing in the product. It could be 25 percent higher or more, from one country to the next," Lazar said, adding that what's considered a moderate or discounted brand in the U.S. could be considered a luxury brand in another country.“It’s no secret that the single greatest inventory challenge for fashion and apparel brands occurs in international markets,” Lazar said. "We believe U.S. off-price retailers will also benefit from our global solution as it allows them to source product directly from international brands far more efficiently.”Among the new Inturn features are: optimizing the pricing across different markets since countries value labels and items differently; enabling transactions across different currencies; market data; assisting brands to find the right buyers for the best values and exposing them to a broader pool of potential retail buyers, off-price inventory management and allocation across different markets.Lazar characterized the off-price marketplace as less developed internationally than it is in the U.S., with fewer off-price buyers and opportunities to unload goods, and the potential to have merchandise valued lower than expected. At the same time, manual and antiquated methods used to sell excess inventory have left the process costly and inefficient.As previously reported, Inturn, has some high-profile industry investors including Ken Seiff, founder of Bluefly; and Silas Chou, who backed the Michael Kors and Tommy Hilfiger businesses. Lazar declined to say what brands and retailers are utilizing Inturn. Two of the biggest off-pricers overseas are TK Maxx and Vente-Privee.Inturn’s platform automates how brands can sell off-price merchandise to off-price retailers and eliminates the manual labor involved in creating spreadsheets. It sorts by classification; shows sizing and color information; indicates quantities, suggested retail prices, wholesale prices, new asking prices, purchasing rules such as whether you can buy all of the inventory or part of it, and, in effect, creates “private, curated showrooms for retailers” that give clear reads on the offer. There’s a margin analyzer that calculates purchase prices to get the desired margins. Frequently, buyers are writing orders without product pictures, descriptions, UPCs, color codes and country-of-origin information.
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