With 25 years of experience in the accessories industry, Debbie Forman-Pavan is constantly looking for new and innovative ways to approach retail strategy and merchandising. As Chief Commercial Officer, Fashion and Performance Divisions for the largest sock manufacturer in the U.S., Renfro Brands, Debbie sought to challenge how the company uses data and technology to source consumer insights and inform new product investments.
Debbie partnered with MakerSights, a platform allowing brands to embed consumer data throughout the product-to-market process, to establish a wide-reaching customer panel for Renfro Brands. With the data gathered and testing capabilities in place, Debbie evolved and elevated product offerings, protected existing business and minimized the risks around new product investments.
Debbie’s work is critical as supply chain challenges continue to impact market strategies and sustainability becomes increasingly important. Her strategy has allowed the company to streamline product development to preserve resources. At the same time, Debbie’s approach has aligned the investment areas of Renfro Brands with consumer purchasing behavior, product preferences and priorities. It also has directly met Renfro Brands’ strategic priority to better analyze consumer purchasing behavior and product preferences, enhance portfolio offerings and increase average unit retail (AUR) while minimizing risk.
Under her leadership, a comprehensive testing roadmap was created and priorities for learnings by brand were identified. Debbie tested products, computer-aided designs (CADs), prices and concepts in real time. Throughout the process, she led pulse checks with design, product and merchandising teams to gain feedback on test structure and review learnings to inform production decisions and the work of each of these groups. Debbie’s strategy increased confidence in new product investments between Renfro Brands and its retail partners by providing measurable data to support sell-in.
Debbie successfully aligned the product development process at Renfro Brands with the company’s strategic priority of putting the consumer at the center of everything they do. For a particular product brought to market after testing via MakerSights, AUR increased by 31%, leading retail sales to climb 14% from the prior year.