Retailer Marks & Spencer is rolling out a PLM solution to manage product development for its general merchandise business, which includes clothing and footwear.

The retailer, which operates more than 1,000 stores in over 40 countries, recently unveiled plans for further international expansion with the addition of 250 new stores and increased franchise operations.

And as part of its GM4 Programme, a four-year systems transformation process within its general merchandise business, M&S will use PTC Windchill FlexPLM to fulfil its enterprise PLM requirements.

"The retail industry is undergoing a major transformation, which is underscored by the need to improve operational efficiencies," said Paul Byfleet, director - EMEA Retail, Apparel, Footwear and Consumer, PTC.

"Marks & Spencer has recognised the need for transforming its PLM system and the value this will bring to the future growth, profitability and operations of the business."

As part of its GN4 programme, M&S is shifting its general merchandise to a "tactical push" system that will see stock allocation and replenishment handled centrally, instead of by individual stores. The move, announced last year, is aimed at maximising availability and improving planning.

The changes will also see better assortment planning, with ranges tailored to stores, which will lead to better planning of channel level stock requirements and improved store layouts.