UK-based fashion retailer French Connection Group has upgraded to a cloud-based Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution to help reduce time to market and facilitate growth.

French Connection will implement Gerber Technology's YuniquePLM to its product development process, which already employs the firm's AccuMark family of design room solutions.

"Our team needed a cloud-based solution to simplify IT processes and YuniquePLM will enable data integration with our current infrastructure," says Stuart Hart, head of IT at French Connection.

Michael Lock, vice president of Gerber's global software sales, adds the upgrade will allow French Connection to scale the business "quickly and effortlessly."

"The solution will allow French Connection to reduce costs by simplifying integration across the company," he notes.

The group reported a fall in sales for the first half of the year in September, with revenues weighed down by what it called "extremely challenging" trading conditions.

For the six months ended 31 July, group revenues were down 12.2% to GBP51m (US$63.3m), hurt by an ongoing reduction in French Connection's store portfolio and a shift in the timing of wholesale shipments into the second half of the year.