Peacocks Focuses on Improved Customer Service and Operational Efficiency with JDA Portfolio Store Systems Rollout

The Peacock Group plc, a leading UK retail business, diligently strives to provide a high quality, comfortable and friendly shopping experience for its customers. To achieve that goal, Peacocks has progressively applied a national refurbishment programme across its 400-plus store fashion, footwear and homeware chain and is turning to retail technology in a bid to streamline store operations, merchandising and pricing.

With a growing business now worth over 490 million and half-year group sales up by 13.6 per cent in 2004, chief executive Richard Kirk refers, in the last annual report, to significant opportunities for increased profitability through better control of stock and markdowns. He says that the group's mission is to be the best value-for-money retailer in all of its target markets, always delivering outstanding customer service. He added that refurbishments continue to produce good returns, with refitted stores achieving sales uplifts comfortably ahead of the chain as a whole.

With nearly 60 percent of the Peacocks chain now trading under the new format, the retailer has turned its attention to improving its stores behind the scenes. To streamline operations by introducing best business practices and advanced, flexible technology, Peacocks is rolling out JDAs Win/DSS Point of Sale (PoS) and back office software.

Win/DSS an Easy Sell
According to Liz Sayce, project manager at Peacocks, Win/DSS was an easy sell to store-level management.

We selected JDA based on a rigorous process that began with 30 vendors. JDA was a good fit to our requirements and we liked their emphasis on team work, comments Sayce.

With new stores serving as the catalyst for driving the roll-out plan, Peacocks is installing the highly configurable Win/DSS on new Wincor Nixdorf touch screen tills with Windows 2000. In the first phase of the project, four stores went live and another 30 - 40 stores are planned for rollout by October 2004.

Improving Efficiency and Customer Service
Win/DSS is an all-encompassing solution that features best in class functionality at the POS and back office, including store inventory, customer data tracking and labour scheduling capabilities. As well as improving efficiency, Win/DSS is helping to reduce fraud, enable online authorisation and provide a foundation for future developments such as loyalty cards or similar marketing initiatives.

Win/DSS is a great system that is easy for colleagues to learn and use without the need to modify code. Swifter transactions at the Point of Sale reduce queuing and promote better customer service too, says Sayce. Win/DSS provides simple and reliable store processing while reducing back office administration work. By transforming our in-store operations with Win/DSS, were increasing motivation and job satisfaction for our store-based colleagues.

Combating Fraud and Early Accreditation for Chip & PIN
With liability for credit card fraud switching from the banks to retailers at the start of 2005, Peacocks is tackling this issue concurrent with the Win/DSS rollout. In 2004 the retailer became one of the first in the UK to be granted accreditation for Chip & PIN. Peacock customers will soon be able to type in a personal identity number when purchasing goods, rather than signing a sales receipt.

We wanted to avoid the potential risk of millions of pounds lost through fraud and saw Chip & PIN as a must-have solution, says Sayce. Were fortunate that we started getting ready early for the January deadline, and that we had JDA on our side to supervise much of the off-site accreditation.

JDA will continue to stand by the retailers side as the remaining stores are rolled out with Win/DSS. Since Peacocks Chairman sees scope for at least 700 Peacocks stores across the UK plus the potential of franchising overseas, Peacocks and JDA will be building upon their current success for many quarters to come.

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