Like most fashion retailers, NZX-listed Hallenstein Glasson is pushing hard to invest in e-commerce, but it is also investing on a more unusual front.
The company, which released its annual report today, is also planning to roll out "whistle blower apps" to workers in its supply chain.
"We believe technology will be crucial in driving the change required to achieve a more sustainable fashion industry and to support workers’ rights," the report stated. "Included among the initiatives we’ll be using to help us achieve this is the introduction of whistle-blower apps that allow workers in our supplier factories to raise concerns anonymously."
It is not known what app Hallenstein Glasson is using or planning to use, but whistleblower software such as the open source GlobaLeaks is available for such purposes in over 30 languages, while GoCanvas allows whistleblowing via mobile forms - GotEthics offers an app as does GrundFos.
The retailer also reported that thanks to ongoing investment in digital, online sales growth has improved at a significantly greater rate than bricks and mortar stores.
"During the last financial year, online sales growth was 63.6 per cent and now represents 12.8 per cent of group turnover," the report said.
"We will continue to invest in technology and resources to build momentum in this strategic area of the business into the future."
In-store, the group has introduced "Be the D.J." where customers can choose their own music while they shop.
Other initiatives include interactive and service-focused fitting rooms, mobile payment options and facilities, as well as technology to help serve customers more efficiently and to reduce store operation stress points such as stock management.
"Additionally, we are investing in our supply chain in order to support future growth online, as well as serve our stores better. The expansion of the Hallenstein Brothers Distribution Centre in Auckland is our first step in this process."
Total sales for the year were $278 million, up 16.2 per cent while profit was $27 million, up 58.4 per cent.