Retail Solutions - Wireless system for Sweet Factory

Confectionery retailer Sweet Factory has invested in what it claims is the first general packet radio service (GPRS)-linked till system in Europe.

The retailer operates 15 kiosks in shopping centres throughout the UK.

The kiosks do not have access to a fixed telephone line and rely on wireless mobile phone GPRS links, provided by O2, to keep in touch with head office.

'Given our expansion programme, sending in weekly sales numbers was going to be increasingly cumbersome,' said Sweet Factory managing director Nick Charlton. 'We needed to be online, and that meant GPRS.'

GPRS is capable of transferring data at a rate of 32 to 40Kbps (kilobytes per second), which is more than enough for the retailer to transfer the sales information it needs. The system uses newly-developed Avery MP200 touch-sensitive Point of Sale (PoS) units with an integrated scale. The back office is run by the system provider, DeMaurier, at its head office in Leicester, under the service name of Storepro.

DeMaurier provides Sweet Factory with regular sales and trend reports via the Internet. Each till is also updated automatically with any price changes or discounts.

Sweet Factory is planning to extend the service to a promotions module and stock control management.