Retail Solutions - Clarks grants PinkRoccade a five-year extension to contract

Clarks has signed a five-year renewal on a multi-million pound outsourcing deal with Netherlands-based IT services company PinkRoccade.

PinkRoccade supports Clarks's Windows NT domain and 1,500 PCs across Clarks' 670 stores in the UK and Eire.

The deal includes support of the retailer's Chip and PIN installation, due to complete in July.

Chip and PIN is part of a comprehensive EPoS upgrade that will see e-mail and intranet available in every Clarks store.

'It allows staff access to information without leaving the shopfloor,' said Clarks retail services manager Alastair Smith. 'Managers can attend the shopfloor while doing admin and being more visible.'

Clarks also plans to upgrade its PCs to Windows XP to support the next version of its Coalition EPoS software. This is built on Microsoft's .Net compact framework technology, which does not run effectively on Clarks' existing Windows NT architecture.

The latest agreement is the second extension to the deal, first signed in 1997. Numerous companies were invited to bid for the new contract, but PinkRoccade won.

'The main reason (for PinkRoccade winning) is it's a partnership between the two companies,' said Smith.

PinkRoccade was one of the few companies that could meet Clarks' demand for ITIL (IT infrastructure library) certification.

Smith said: 'We're both committed to developing each other's business. That's why it works.'

The precise value of the contract was not disclosed.