Spencer Fung

Li & Fung and First Insight have inked a deal to offer retailers and brands an “end-to-end digital product development solution.” In a joint statement, the companies said the agreement involves integrating First Insight’s Voice of the Customer analytics into Li & Fung’s Digital Product Development solution, thereby “enabling brands and retailers to select, price and buy designs with greater confidence, increasing sell-through and reducing markdowns.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The announcement was made as Li & Fung articulates its vision in creating the “supply chain of the future.” The company said it is developing “a fully-integrated digital supply chain platform that connects brands and retailers with suppliers and other partners seamlessly with end-to-end data capture and visibility.”

Spencer Fung, group chief executive officer of Li & Fung, said the company helps brands and retailers “digitize design and bring the right products to market quickly and efficiently.”

“We have been investing in our digital product development services for the past three years, bringing together technologies that support our goal of creating the supply chain of the future,” Fung noted. “First Insight brings the leading digital consumer product testing solution and we are using it to complement our digital services and help our customers improve sales and margins.”

The company said from “design, blocks and patterns, product development and fitting, to digital catalogues, and 3-D retail and visual merchandising, Li & Fung is replacing physical with digital.” Coupled with First Insight’s digital consumer testing platform, “it can review consumer insights making informed changes early in the product development phase — helping brands make decisions smarter and faster.”

For retailers and brands, the merging of the two companies’ technologies and capabilities will offer “higher confidence in selecting designs that consumers want, at the prices they will pay” as well as “higher responsiveness in their value chain — demand-driven, rather than supply-driven.”

Other benefits include faster speed to market, and a reduction in the cost of making physical samples. Retailers and brands can also see improved “sustainability for the business and environmental footprint,” the companies noted.

Greg Petro

Greg Petro  Patrick MacLeod/WWD

Greg Petro, ceo of First Insight, said for the last 12 years, “First Insight has been helping hundreds of retailers and brands use voice-of-the-customer data and predictive analytics to improve their operations — from product design to buying to pricing. Li & Fung is the unquestioned global leader in sourcing and delivering innovative digital supply chain solutions to the retail industry. The combination of our solutions creates a global supply chain that is fast, accurate and efficient.”