Centric has announced a partnership with vrSoftware that will allow its customers to extend the benefits of their PLM systems through to the retail shop floor.

PLM provider Centric will offer its customers vrSoftware's vrMockshop, a virtual reality tool that helps brands and retailers build fully-merchandised interactive 3D virtual stores. The software helps design shop floor layouts and planograms from merchandising plans and style images captured in Centric 8 PLM.

"Just as our ground-breaking mobile apps extended the benefits of PLM further out in the organisation to provide accurate product information to marketing and sales teams, the Centric 8-vrMockshop integration extends the power of PLM software to retail planning teams," said Centric CEO Chris Groves.

Centric said the integration of the two systems will extend the "single version of the truth" for which PLM is known. Changes within the PLM system ripple through to vrMockshop, which means merchandisers making retail shop plans can prepare displays with access to the most up-to-date information about the products.

"Planners can incorporate the latest changes in product design, material or colour, revisions in seasonal colours, and even last-minute cancellations to make the best possible use of retail space for maximum revenue and customer satisfaction impact," Groves added.

By incorporating retail planning into a product's lifecycle, retailers can visualise key areas of the PLM process, from collection creation, to the finished product in a fully merchandised store - all before designs even reach sample development or full-scale production.

The two solutions will help apparel companies realise improved retail sales by using visual mockups, a reduction in labour costs and greater control over branding.