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CASE STUDY Office turns to mobile POS to bust queues at Christmas, keeps it year round

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From its origins in the early 1980s, Office has grown steadily and is a staple of the British high street and now has more than 150 global sites, including concessions in Selfridges IRDX RSEL], Topshop and House of Fraser . It is now one of the IRUK Top 500 retailers, as are its concession hosts.

In response to high demand, the retailer wanted to make life easier for customers waiting to pay at busy times of the year, such as the run-up to Christmas or during seasonal sales, in its leading UK stores.

Previously, it had installed an extra till and cash desk to cope with this increase in customers, but at the cost of valuable display space. This temporary equipment was also time-consuming to install and occupied to large a footprint at the service points in the shops.

After looking at the available alternatives, Office chose to install Box Technologies’ Cielo Move point-of-sale solution in its 20 busiest UK stores to cope with demand during peak periods.

The installation was completed within a week in November and has made life considerably easier for both shoppers and staff, speeding up transactions, and freeing up store space for display.

In fact, the installation has proved so successful that Office will keep the Cielo Move solutions in place throughout the year.

The popularity of its stores at busy times such as the intense shopping period before the festive season, including Black Friday, meant that queues often build in the busier stores, occasionally leading to longer waiting times for customers than is desirable.

Office found that the extra till and cash desk it installed to cope with these peaks in demand had major drawbacks, being expensive and requiring the re-allocation of precious space that is normally used to display shoes. They were also time-consuming to install.

Searching for an alternative, Office decided to look at more innovative point-of-sale solutions to increase speed for customers while maintaining the quality of its in-store environment.

Initially Office was attracted by the robustness of the Box Cielo tablets and their flexibility in being easily detached from mounts, ready for use on the shop-floor. However, after further evaluation, Office selected the Box Cielo Move as its choice of solution.

Having selected the technology, Office then required Box to install the devices at its 20 busiest UK stores, working to a tight timetable of just one week in November this year. Each installation had to be completed outside 11am to 2pm peak trading hours, with 12 taking place entirely out-of-hours.

The deadline was achieved without hiccup in time for the busy retail period in the run-up to Christmas. Since the Cielo Move is an adaptable solution, Office has been able to deploy the same software that it uses on its standard point-of-sale equipment, making the transition worry-free for staff and managers alike.

Office has immediately seen major benefits from installing the Cielo Move, enabling staff to serve more customers without the requirement for expensive and comparatively bulky temporary point-of-sales equipment.

As the Cielo Move has a small physical presence, store managers have been able to devote more space for display, while on the other hand, staff have not needed to waste time re-arranging layouts and shoe bays.

The Cielo Move’s fast processing power has ensured that staff are able to process transactions at busy times much more quickly, leading to reduced queues and a better customer experience.

The Box Cielo Move solutions will remain in place in the Office stores beyond the festive season, as Office can see many advantages in their continued use. The company will explore how the equipment’s in-built functionality can be deployed to bring Office best advantage in each of the stores where it is installed. One of the functions Office will be looking at is the swivel-mount’s ability to turn the tablet round to face the customer, which could be utilised to improve customer interaction – something that experts in queue busting technology Eurostop, a leading supplier of retail management solutions for fashion, footwear and lifestyle, is already telling retailers.

“The Cielo Move has brought us a massive advantage in terms of smaller footprint and ease-of-use,” explains Alex Cylwik, Office IT project manager. “It is a really effective solution for us, helping reduce queueing time. The installation was achieved to a high level and working with Box has been a pleasure. This equipment is not just for Christmas, we are looking forward to exploring the benefits it will bring us all year round.”

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