Sosandar

Launched in September 2016, Sosandar is an online womenswear brand, specifically targeted at a generation of women who have graduated from throwaway fashion, and are looking for quality, affordable clothing with a premium, trend-led aesthetic. This is a section of the market that is currently being underserved.

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The Challenge

Sosandar is driven by creative flair, skilfully combined with a data-centric approach in order to understand and respond to its customers’ needs. The customer sits at the heart of everything it does, and the exclusive designs created entirely in-house, offer exceptional quality at affordable prices.

When preparing for launch, Sosandar was looking for a logistics partner that could support its planned growth over the coming years. Clipper’s track record and reputation for innovative and industry-leading solutions, meant that it was an obvious choice. The shared use model provided by Clipper and the retail focus of the business, ensured that Sosandar would have logistics expertise from day one to support its ambitions, and a cost model that would flex as the business gained momentum.

In March 2020, COVID-19 arrived at overwhelming speed and on an enormous scale. For the Sosandar management team, their immediate priority was the health, safety and wellbeing of their people, partners and customers.

As the lockdown was implemented, customers’ buying habits also changed overnight. There was a significant interest in more casual ranges as customers sought out comfort, with fewer social occasions calling for more formal product types. As an agile online-only business, Sosandar needed to quickly diversify its product range to meet these changing needs.

The Solution

From the beginning of the partnership, Clipper worked closely with Sosandar to understand and address the challenges their business presented, in addition to the growth aspirations of the Company as an ecommerce pure-play brand.

Sosandar was a start-up business, so all systems and processes had to be built from the ground up. With a very small in-house team, Clipper acted as an extension of this. Clipper offered Sosandar a sophisticated solution to facilitate its needs, enabling them to start small and grow quickly.

Then, with the arrival of COVID-19 came the previously mentioned structural shifts in consumer behaviour, coupled with new emergency governmental legislation. Both Clipper and Sosandar needed to react quickly. Sosandar quickly transitioned to working from home in line with Government guidelines, which was successfully achieved with minimal disruption. The logistics operations saw no disruption as Clipper quickly developed safe working practices and social distancing measures in line with Government advice, to protect the safety and welfare of staff on site, whilst continuing to provide the service required.

During the first lockdown in March 2020, Clipper was able to adapt quickly through its flexible operational model to make sure operations matched current levels of demand. This resulted in limited impact on cost efficiencies despite the sudden economic changes caused by the pandemic.

Clipper’s spirit of collaboration has never been more apparent than during these challenging business times. Proactive communications helped Sosandar understand the changes being made to enable continued safe working practices, and made sure that resource planning was sufficient in an uncertain environment.

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Grown rapidly from a startup to a £multimillion turnover business in just four years.

The Result

Operating from Clipper’s Selby facility, the partnership has offered Sosandar the ability to continue to grow at pace. Leveraging Clipper’s cost-efficient shared-user warehousing and distribution network, the operation has grown from a start-up to a 24/7 operation, which has grown 15x, with Clipper providing support for the additional resources required to support the customer base.

Sosandar has grown rapidly from a start-up to a £multimillion turnover business in just four years. The product range has expanded significantly with over 2,000 styles now available across multiple product categories, from sell-out denim to high-quality leather as well as dresses, knitwear, coats, footwear, activewear and accessories.

Over the last 18 months, despite challenging business circumstances due to COVID-19, the business has gone from strength to strength, with Clipper supporting Sosandar’s growth trajectory as an ecommerce pure-play brand.

Clipper’s flexibility of resource has been of utmost value to Sosandar. Operating in a shared facility, where there are ups and downs in demand across multiple contracts, meant that headcount could be flexed to maximise delivery for all on site. Clipper’s offer of a flexible footprint that can increase in times of seasonality or to accommodate promotional stock build, has helped to future-proof the Sosandar business as it continues to grow.

“Clipper Logistics has been a fantastic partner for our business from the outset. The quality of their service and offering is first class and the importance of having partners with the kind of expertise Clipper Logistics has was underlined during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite the logistical challenges caused, we are pleased to say that we did not experience any significant disruption to distribution lead times. We were able to successfully flex our warehousing and fulfilment operations to the changing needs of our customers with service levels being maintained throughout.”

Ali Hall & Julie Lavington, Sosandar