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.
Fifty J2 650 terminals are now installed across the four stores. Says Shane Longhorne: “We find the J2 terminals adaptable, working both at our retail points-of-sale and in our restaurants. It’s good that we can use a single machine throughout the business.”
For the Gainsborough opening, Browns has done all the unit testing and system configuration itself. “We’
ABOUT J2 RETAIL SYSTEMS
J2 Retail Systems is a specialist manufacturer of PC-based touchscreens, LCD touchscreen monitors and point-of-sale hardware to the retail, hospitality and leisure industries. With 100,000 units+ installed worldwide, its clients include thousands of leisure operators, leading-brand retailers and hospitality businesses. Its technology is now seen as the EPoS of choice in the cinema sector.
J2 products represent innovation, reliable performance and one of the lowest costs of EPoS ownership achievable today. The company controls its own design and manufacture and constantly looks for ways to improve the cost and quality of its user experience.
J2’s history has been one of pioneering and market ‘firsts’, including the first EPoS to contain Solid State storage drives as standard. The company now offers clients the widest choice of leading-edge touchscreen technologies available. It recently brought to market the first system to proactively monitor EPoS hardware and automate fault diagnosis and resolution before a till failure occurs.
ABOUT BROWNS YORK www.brownsyork.co.uk
In the world of retail, Browns York is that rare commodity; a family-owned department store group that has remained close to its regional roots whilst evolving to appeal to the changing tastes and buying habits of core shoppers and visitors. Established in 1896 in Yorkshire, today Browns has four locations; its flagship store in York, Helmsley, Beverley and Gainsborough.