Project 5 The Retail Data Partnership – Family Shopper, Paisley
IN SG workSHOP we look at how suppliers and retailers can work together to make independent and symbol stores more profitable.
Today we have our first article with retail IT specialist The Retail Data Partnership, which provides IT solutions for some 2500 retailers including around 2000 Booker customers, and father and son team Barry and Steven Oujla. Dad Barry runs the Family Shopper in Causeyside Street, Paisley that’s about to celebrate its first anniversary. Steven runs the family’s much longer-established Premier store in Glasgow’s Cathcart, which he is keen to refit soon.
The retailers use The Retail Data Partnership’s system. At Paisley that includes the firm’s ShopMate software installed on three Toshiba ST-A10 EPoS units at the till points and on computers in the office – all used in conjunction with hand-held scanners.
So, does having your own data and items like your wholesaler’s price file instantly and electronically to hand help build profitability?
For Barry, who moved to Scotland from Bradford and opened his first shop in the east end of Glasgow in 1981, the answer is yes.
“Back then it was all over-the-counter service and an old register, there was almost no stock control,” he said.
He put EPoS into the Cathcart store in 2001, but reckons that technology really began to help when he and Steven looked at The Retail Data Partnership’s system and installed it in 2010.
As it has the wholesaler’s electronic price file on the system many tasks that had previously taken considerable time, like loading promotions, setting VAT status and changing prices, are handled automatically. It means cost prices, margins, RRPs and, if the retailer wishes to set it up, eventual selling prices can all be updated automatically.
Other items, from local suppliers for example, can be added manually and a pricing rule set to provide the same automatic calculations.
Steven stressed the depth of the data that can be accessed through a huge range of reports – from general summaries to detailed measures of category and brand performance.
The system quickly told him recently that simply moving Heineken to another position in the beer chiller had boosted its sales considerably.
The data collection and reports aid security too; it can allow analysis of an individual transaction if a customer has a query, for example. Access privileges and restrictions can be set for the various levels of staff and management.
And data can be remotely accessed on a wide range of computers, devices and operating systems.
The Retail Data Partnership’s northern sales manager Darren Town took a similar view. He said embracing data, and using his firm’s system, gives the retailer the ability to very closely manage his or her business in terms of margins, profitability, stock control and more. It saves time, is more secure and helps many modern retailers achieve the better work-life balance they want.