John Lewis is to implement a “quicker and easier” EPoS system as it sets out an integrated multichannel approach for its department store, specialist home store and website offers.
The department store chain has chosen an EPoS system from PCMS that has been designed to work across a variety of retail sectors and store sizes and that will support its overall multichannel offer for customers.
John Lewis will roll out the Vision BeanStore system to 3,000 tills across all its trading formats, including all department store and hospitality operations throughout 2011 and 2012, following a trial likely to take place in a pilot store at the start of next year.
The centralised architecture for Vision BeanStore means that it can provide real-time information across John Lewis’s estate and can integrate with other retail operations such as ecommerce and order management.
John Lewis’ flagship London Oxford Street store was hit by “sporadic failures” at its tills in December during its key Christmas trading period. The move to the new system would also make individual stores less vulnerable to software glitches.
Price and promotion information will be delivered centrally to till points or any other hand-held or kiosk media, and each device will be monitored by the IT suite.
John Lewis head of multichannel Simon Russell stressed the store glitches were not the reason for the change. “The primary motive was to create a quicker and easier experience for customers,” he said. “It is also easier to use for partners and it will make training much simpler and quicker.”
The move will also put John Lewis on a common platform with its supermarket stable-mate Waitrose and Russell said it will simplify transactions in non-sterling currencies.
Steve Powell, consultant at PCMS for the project, said the switch was a move to future-proof the retailer’s technology platform: “The system is scalable so that it can adapt to a full-line store, the web or its Home store format. It also has a different personality for hospitality and retailing - John Lewis is very mindful of how this works for partners and customers - but is supported by the same back-of-house solution,” he said.