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The Designer Depot: Building A New Retail Banner

We looked at retail industry and customer insights and trends to create a strategy and concept that increased margins. We launched and implemented the solution to great success.


Off-price and excess inventory retailers such as Winners and Home Sense were growing exponentially. Canadian department store retailer HBC hired RCC to drive growth in their business using the successful techniques employed by these retailers.

Our Solution

Retail Category Consultants evaluated current procurement processes and identified gaps for procuring opportunity-buy merchandise. We developed new buying processes, trained buyers, and forged alliances to gain access to distressed inventory and turn it into store-ready product. Signage and merchandising were developed to help customers locate deals in-store.

To overcome the challenge of getting the buying organization on board (there was not the same level of information available on merchandise as with traditional buys), RCC developed processes to provide detailed information about merchandise prior to committing to the buy, and built a communication plan between the buying office, distribution centres, and third party suppliers.

Our Results

Testing and process improvement initiatives were successful, and RCC delivered opportunity buys with faster turnover and higher margins. The successful tests resulted in the development of a new HBC retail banner, Designer Depot. The first store was launched at Vaughan Mills outlet mall in Ontario, Canada, and grew to a 9-store division. Designer Depot was later sold to INC Group of Companies.