Fourth opening for Browns York
The Browns York department store group has opened its fourth store, in Gainsborough Lincs. Browns’ new home is the Marshalls Yard development, a regenerated tractor factory. “This has been a high-profile redevelopment project,” explains Browns’ Finance Director, Shane Longhorne. “The buildings are unique and make for a very stylish department store.”
Browns joins 29 shops, an Italian restaurant, a coffee shop, a health club and a landscaped plaza in this new retail and leisure destination.
To support its expansion, Browns embarked on a major technology upgrade two years ago, introducing new EPoS and Accounts software. In so doing, it met its goals of systems integration, better management reporting and a platform for its new reward scheme.
At the same time, it migrated its till hardware from IBM to J2 Retail Systems. “We saw that J2 hardware matched the performance of the IBM tills, but was a lot more competitively priced.”
The J2 terminals have a useful role to play in the management of the reward scheme, which is helping Browns to differentiate itself from its larger competitors. “Success in today’s climate comes from loyalty built up over the years. We’re loyal to our customers and they’re loyal to us. Our reward programme gives them exclusive offers and promotions.”
Since the reward scheme set-up 9 months ago, over 30,000 customers have signed up. Cards are swiped through a reader on the J2 touchscreen tills.
“Our software gives us information on the customer and his or her purchase history, displayed on the till. This enables us to engage with them and give better service. Our J2 tills speed up our sales transactions, which also contributes to good service. Unlike our bigger competitors, we can’t get high levels of margin through buying power so we have to excel in service, and our EPoS solution helps us to do that,” observes Longhorne.
For the Gainsborough opening, Browns has done all the unit testing and system configuration itself. “We’re very pleased with the speed of delivery from J2. We have found it straightforward to load and configure the machines. Everything we require has been delivered well within timescales and if we’ve needed any support J2 has been there for us.”
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