Models on the catwalkPrada show, Runway, Fall Winter 2019, Milan Fashion Week, Italy - 21 Feb 2019

MILAN — Last month, Prada Group chief executive officer Patrizio Bertelli ticked off the investments made over the past two years in technological, industrial and digital development, infrastructure, research, communication and training. On Tuesday, the Italian luxury firm put those words into action, announcing a collaboration with Oracle to support efficiency across Prada’s retail processes.

The collaboration with Oracle Retail Cloud services will help Prada analyze historical data and current market demands across its global network of 634 stores.

“By integrating Oracle’s advanced digital technologies with our operations, we will be able to unlock increasing value within our business and offer further opportunities to our global customer base,” said Lorenzo Bertelli, Prada’s head of marketing and communication. “Our collaboration with Oracle is part of our wider strategy focused on enhancing our group with a strong investment in technology to boost operational efficiency and effectiveness.”

The younger Bertelli, son of Patrizio, joined the Prada group in September 2017 as head of digital communication to support the company’s digital transformation. He is ramping up the fashion house’s e-commerce to reach global coverage by 2020 and developing digital projects to drive brand engagement and boost operational efficiency and effectiveness through new technology. The technology and digital strategy has delivered a strong double-digit growth in sales through the group’s own online platform, he said last month. He is also focused on expanding the group’s omnichannel business in 2019.

“For luxury brands, delivering a unique and positive brand experience is paramount,” said Mike Webster, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Retail. “Whether they are shopping in Milan, San Francisco or online, Prada Group’s customers expect that inventory will be fresh, current and available. The company will be able to better understand and anticipate customer demand and optimize inventory assortments accordingly to ensure every brand connection results in a satisfied customer.”

With Oracle, Prada will aim to optimize its merchandising process, including sales and forecasts, performance analysis, margin, open-to-buy, inventory management, supply chain and inventory allocation, allowing it to set aside more precise budgets. Prada is also aiming to improve real-time visibility into all customer-related details across every touch point and offer a personalized shopping experience.

“It is clear that the digital transformation has radically altered relationships with consumers, making them ever more aware of their purchasing choices. In this context, communication takes on an even more crucial importance to reach our customers effectively,” said Patrizio Bertelli, commenting on 2018 sales and profits last month. “With this objective in mind, we will continue to invest in all of our digital assets to create an increasingly immersive brand experience with a unique and engaging involvement at all touch points.”

Separately, WWD has learned that Chiara Tosato, who joined Prada in 2017 as general manager and digital director, has left the company. A spokeswoman confirmed the exit, which was a “personal choice that we respect.” The group will evaluate a successor shortly.