HUGO BOSS believes that the desirability of its brands is the most important factor in the Group’s long-term success. The goal of maximizing customer satisfaction is in line with this fundamental concept. Customer satisfaction is also an important foundation for long-term customer retention. The Company therefore consistently focuses all its activities on the customer. Customer benefit and customer satisfaction are consequently both a benchmark and a goal in all key decisions. Group Strategy
Customer satisfaction is measured and analyzed at HUGO BOSS in, among other places, customer service, by sales staff in stores and by the central Strategy department. This department provides the Managing Board with regular updates on the results of its work in detailed reports.
Particularly in times of intense competition and increasing customer demand, the target of maximizing customer satisfaction contributes to the long-term increase in the Company’s value.
Key levers for increasing customer satisfaction for HUGO BOSS include enhancing the shopping experience, further optimizing the product offering and continually improving product quality. For example, the new store concepts for BOSS and HUGO that were already implemented in 2018 at selected sites and the regular training of sales staff represent key investments in enhancing the shopping experience. In 2018, for instance, the Company also enhanced both the quality and price of BOSS Casualwear and gave it more space in its own retail stores. Group Strategy
HUGO BOSS uses different formats to measure customer satisfaction. In addition to customer surveys, the Company also uses feedback from specially trained test buyers of outside service providers, an exercise known as mystery shopping. The results provide the Company with important findings about increasing customer satisfaction and are incorporated primarily in the targeted training of sales staff. The Managing Board is also actively involved in dialog with customers using special dialog formats. HUGO BOSS offers its customers the opportunity to get in touch with the Company through its own website.
In analyzing the data obtained through the various channels, what is known as the Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a key indicator. The NPS uses customer surveys to measure the likelihood of a customer recommending a brand to someone else, and allows to further increase the brand dynamic and customer satisfaction based on objective and measurable data. A high NPS compared to the competition was once again achieved in 2018. The Group’s goal is to further improve this indicator in the future.
HUGO BOSS is aware of its responsibility for the health and safety of the people who come into contact with its products both during the manufacturing process and as customers. Clear responsibilities, coordinated processes and extensive guidelines therefore focus on adherence to high safety and quality standards in the Company’s product development.
Responsibility for product safety lies with the central Global Sustainability division, which is responsible among other things for the specification of internal policies and standards and compliance with statutory requirements. In the sourcing units, operational implementation is carried out by the staff responsible for product safety and quality.
HUGO BOSS aims to ensure that all products meet both its own and statutory safety and quality standards. The target of further improving the environmental impact and safety of the products is to be achieved primarily by reducing the use of environmentally harmful chemicals in the supply chain.
HUGO BOSS pays attention to strict product safety requirements being complied with along its supply chain. As early as the product development process, extensive tests are used to check the safety and environmental compatibility of the materials used. If the product tests reveal noticeable problems, a specified escalation process is triggered, which involves all relevant specialist departments and, in serious cases, also includes the Managing Board. In relevant production steps, such as, for example, the dyeing of fabrics and the tanning of leather, the Company is increasingly focusing on new technologies and innovative processes to prevent the release of pollutants that are harmful to health and to the environment.
The Company requires its suppliers to comply with a Restricted Substances List (RSL) that meets the requirements of the Apparel & Footwear International RSL Management Group (AFIRM). This governs compliance with laws on the use of chemicals and other substances that are potentially hazardous to health. By joining the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) initiative in 2017, HUGO BOSS is also working to further reduce the use of environmentally harmful chemicals in the supply chain. In 2018, the Company worked on a Manufacturing RSL, based on the ZDHC tools, to encourage the use of alternative environmentally-friendly chemicals in the production process in future. Sustainability Report
HUGO BOSS has the safety and quality of its products tested by accredited institutes using comprehensive tests for harmful substances, with the goal of minimizing the proportion of products that do not meet market requirements. In 2018, around 3,050 materials were tested (2017: around 2,950). In this process less than 0.5% of the tested products turned out not to be market-compliant and were consequently rejected (2017: less than 0.5%).
The aim of data protection is to guarantee the individual’s right to self-determination in terms of information. Because the business model is becoming increasingly digitalized, this topic is also steadily becoming more important for HUGO BOSS. Customer data, in particular data from its own online business and the customer loyalty program, is of high relevance for the future success of HUGO BOSS. Breaches of data protection laws represent an increased compliance risk. The Group aims to counter this risk with a system that complies with data protection laws as well as robust security and data privacy controls. Risk Report, Material Organizational Risks
The central Data Protection Officer is responsible for data protection monitoring and compliance. Support is provided by specified data protection officers within the Group companies. The work focuses on preventive measures such as early risk identification, issue remediation and employee education. Any contraventions must be reported to the Data Protection Officer. The Managing Board is kept updated by regular data protection reports.
HUGO BOSS aims to completely rule out any contraventions of applicable data protection laws.
All employees are educated on data protection issues through activity-related training courses and the obligation to adhere to the Code of Conduct. The Company has additionally enacted an internal data protection policy as well as other data protection guidelines. With the EU General Data Protection Regulation now applicable, there has been more of a focus on data protection, and on implementation of and compliance with the new changes in the law.
All internal processes and systems for processing personal data are measured against legal data protection requirements on an ongoing basis and are constantly being improved. The improvements focus on preventing the misuse and theft of data and on ensuring that customers’ privacy is protected. There are extensive data protection provisions for the Company’s online presence and mobile apps, for example. When legal violations have been discovered, the Company has implemented contingency plans to initiate countermeasures.
In 2018, as in the prior year, the Company knew of no violations in the sense of data protection breaches that had been determined by an official authority or a court.