The Pier has rolled out an EPoS system that is used by many retailers in South Africa after it was brought to the UK by new retail software supplier Argility.

The Active Retail system is now in use at the retailer’s 34 stores. The project is expected to almost pay for itself within the next three years.

The Pier head of information systems Alex Meek said that the pricing of the system – which was the best value of those they investigated – had been a factor in its decision to implement it. However, he added: “It is an excellent product in terms of features and the look and feel.”

Staff are now able to take orders at the till and use the system to access The Pier’s web site and interest-free credit sites. Previously, customer orders made at the till had to be written down and keyed into a back-office computer.

The Pier is also planning to introduce a gift-card application to its tills in March or April.

Argility’s systems integration partner Arnel, which worked with The Pier on the project, was one of the retailer’s existing suppliers. Arnel supplied the retailer’s merchandising system and had integrated it for use with Active Retail before The Pier signed for the system, making for a much speedier implementation.

Significant savings will be made from the reduction in maintenance costs associated with its previous system and till hardware. The Pier has also been able to re-use hardware from its old system, including printers, scanners and cash drawers.

The system is Windows-based, which Meek says allowed temporary Christmas store staff to be trained to use the tills much more quickly, because they were familiar with the user interface.