Swan Retail cyber-attack woes continue

More than six weeks after hackers caused “significant disruption” to Swan Retail’s inventory management, order fulfilment and accounting systems, fashion retailers told Drapers the issues have still not been resolved.

Sandersons Boutique owner and co-founder Mark Dransfield said the cyber-attack on Swan Retail, which occurred on 13 August, “has hugely affected” the business.

“We are now into week seven of not having things fully operational. We are working through the problems with Swan Retail however this is proving to be challenging as head office do not accept calls and instead work on an electronic ticket system,” he added.

The software company works with around 300 independents retailers in sectors including fashion, homeware, sports, catering and garden centres.

One womenswear independent owner told Drapers: “The majority of issues have been restored [for us], however, there are still some glitches: service drops out sometimes and some elements still do not work correctly.


“This weekend [23-24 September] we lost connection from the tills to the back office meaning stock was incorrect. We [also] cannot access all of the reporting options. It is a mess and [Swan Retail] do not seem to be on top of it at all.”

The owner of one menswear independent told Drapers the issues with Swan Retail’s inventory management service has caused the business to lose an estimated 30% in sales in the six-week period.

“[Swan Retail] have not said anything about reimbursing us [for lost trade]. I think they should not charge us for the month,” he said.

One footwear independent owner said the issues with Swan Retail’s services will have “a major impact” on the business’s full-year outlook.

A spokesman for Swan Retail said: “In August, Swan Retail experienced a criminal cyber-attack causing significant disruption to our services. Whilst this impacted some of our customers’ businesses, our core services have since resumed. We take cyber-security extremely seriously and continue to liaise with law enforcement on this matter.”


Meanwhile, last week lingerie group Wacoal, which owns brands Fantasie, Freya and Elomi, was also hit by a cyber attack, resulting in its websites being taken offline and indie stockists being unable to place orders.