Case Study Apollo

Optimized assortments and visibility of stock requirements with TXTPlanning

  • Case

    Company Background

    Apollo, the optician retail chain with the largest number of stores in Germany, has been able to more efficiently manage its assortments and stock requirements after implementing the TXTPlanning software by TXT Retail.

    Founded in 1972, Apollo is part of Grandvision B.V. Group, the leading optician chain with stores in over 40 countries. With their motto “eye care, we care more”, the customers and their satisfaction take center stage within the company. In its about nearly 800 Apollo stores in Germany and over 100 stores in Austria - where they operate as Pearle Optik - the company offers a collection of over 1,500 fashion sunglasses, frames and contact lenses, in a wide range of colours, sizes and brands.

    The Challenge

    “What makes our business both unique and challenging, is the variety of our assortment. Customers might want to try on many different types of frames, colors and brands before buying, so we need to have a wide range of products and variants always in stock,” said Jörg Ruppert, head of sales and operations planning at Apollo.

    Until recently, the retailer laid out its stores by brand, but then decided it should better focus on merchandising by price point, a change in its merchandising strategy that naturally affected its planning logic. It also offers its customers regular promotions and campaigns, which make store-planning requirements even more complicated. To add to this complexity, Ruppert explained, there is only a small window each night to calculate exactly which products to send to each of their 900 stores and generate the picking orders for the logistic department. “This calls for full visibility on stock requirements, reactivity in planning, as well as a powerful planning solution to support the process.”

    Apollo, decided to adopt the TXTPlanning software with the main objective to obtain full transparency of stock requirements and to connect all of its retail planning processes, from budgeting, down to replenishment.

    More specifically, TXTPlanning helps Apollo to:
    • Further improve the quantity and quality of the assortment and best-seller availability
    • Support the daily replenishment for all stores based on customer needs, as well as manage the impact of promotional campaigns
    • Improve forecasts to suppliers thus collaboratively
    reducing supply lead-times.

    Why TXT Retail?

    Apollo chose to work with TXT Retail largely because of its pedigree in helping fashion and specialty retailers with planning, including with other optical retailers.

    The company also valued the ability of the solution to cover its processes from end-to end, easy integration with other corporate systems, and in particular the Excel user interface of the solution, which fosters strong adoption and allows productivity from day one.

    The Solution

    Apollo uses TXTPlanning to support all of its retail planning processes: purchase-planning, forecasting, Merchandise Planning, with a strong focus on Assortment Planning and Replenishment Planning. The solution helps define a clear assortment strategy, balancing both demand and budget. Store/SKU replenishments are calculated every night, based on the software’s ability to react quickly based on the trends from recent sales.

    With TXTPlanning, the retailer has automated the replenishment process for all of its 900 stores. “This is not only about quantity but also about quality,” adds Ruppert. “With TXT, we don’t just replenish one-by-one what has been sold, but we take into account our assortment strategy, best sellers and store specific requirements. The system reacts to customer needs with the automatic adjustment of safety stock and the replenishment of best-selling products”.

    In addition, Ruppert stated, that Apollo has improved their forecasts to suppliers, which has had positive impact on responsiveness, ensuring timely and precise deliveries.

    The use of TXTPlanning went in parallel with a company initiative to establish a new Sales & Operations Planning process. “We use TXTPlanning inputs as part of our S&OP. We have a monthly S&OP meeting where we look at the sell-out from the past month and we calculate future requirements. We then give our suppliers detailed forecasts for the types of frames and quantities required, which means they have full visibility of demand and can be more reactive in meeting requests and delivery timelines." Various people across the business regularly use the TXTPlanning software, including the S&OP team and category managers, as well as buyers, who place orders based on TXT forecasts. Many have commented on the ease-of-use of the new system and an overall reduction in manual tasks.

  • The Benefits

    Improved visibility of stock together with better planning capabilities have already helped the retailer identify and replenish best-selling brands in each store, and optimize the overall assortment. More specifically, Apollo has reported benefits in terms of: Transparency of stock and product availability (quantity and quality); More accurate forecasting and suppliers responsiveness; Further improved assortment quality. “With TXTPlanning and auto replenishment, we’ve certainly improved our stock situation both in-store, and at warehouse level,” said Ruppert. “We have optimized availability of best-selling products at each store while always ensuring our customers have the most fashionable and best assortments available, with a wide range of colors, shapes and brands to choose from.”


  • Transparency in assortment planning and supplier forecasting
  • Improved replenishment and buying control
  • Never out-of-stock

The TXT Solution

  • TXTPlanning: forecasting, merchandise planning, assortment and replenishment.


  • Reduction of over-/ under-stocks
  • Best-selling ranges in stock across all stores
  • Optimized assortments