Hudz Urban Fashions and Accessories are an established retailer of Street and Urban Clothing with shops in the North of England, offering clothes with a strong American contemporary hip hop influence. From the latest urban footwear to quality fashion fleeces, the Preston and Huddersfield shops have been supplying customers with leading brand names including Subspecies, Atticus, Eto Jeans, Vivid, Ecko Unltd for the past 12 years.
As you would expect from a progressive business with fast changing fashion lines and seasons, the adoption of effective technology has been deemed as essential since the initial days of trading. Both stores were quick to embrace EPoS technology and specialistFashion Master stock control tools supplied by integrated Retail IT Solution provider, DGCS International Group. These tools have historically provided Hudz with the ability to co-ordinate, control and record every transaction, right down to the branch, date, time, receipt number and sales assistant. Owner of both stores, Elaine Gombos, explains…
“We have been using EPoS from day one and have become reliant on the critical management information and controls provided with both EPoS hardware and the linked stock control software to provide the Sales & Buyers Guides from which all our purchasing decisions are made. The only difficulty being that the EPoS hardware was ageing and falling out of warranty and whilst we had no desire to re-invent our processes, we understood that EPoS technology had progressed dramatically across the last 12 years.”
DGCS International, an accredited Casio partner, were called in to provide the latest recommendations as to how to update the hardware without incurring a large price tag or losing any of the functionality the company relied on for effective stock control.
David Gradwell, CEO of DGCS, led the recommendation study. “EPoS systems have really come of age recently, so it was an opportune time to highlight the leaps that have been made. Casio have driven the lead in progression; developing an integrated EPoS/ Android™solution with the V-R100 platform that provides retailers with the latest touch screen functionality together with the capabilities of using Android™ APPS.”
DGCS took a sample unit into the Preston store for staff to evaluate. Feedback was unanimous. Users were pleasantly surprised at the reduction of space and noise that the latest generation provided. Elaine explains “When we saw the new EPoS solution in action, it highlighted just how big, noisy and cumbersome the old solutions were. They were PC based, so we needed to allocate the old terminals with a significant amount of space behind the counter and also allocate resource for setup, ongoing maintenance and adding new lines, which was a refined art and limited to only a few members of staff.”
In stark contrast, the Casio V-R100 looked like the slick new-kid-on-the-block and just as contemporary as the urban street wear sold in-store. The Casio V-R100 runs the Android™ platform on a smartly engineered, all-in-one platform and has the ergonomics and familiar feel of touch screen tablets, smart phones and iphones, making staff instantly at ease.
Elaine explains further that “The staff where over the moon with the demonstration unit provided. The V-R100 features a small footprint, silent operation and sleek design that makes it a pleasure to work with. It’s our first experience of using touch screen technology and staff are thrilled with it.”
With DGCS completing the installation across both stores, the Casio V-R100’s small footprint is now housed snugly behind the counters, allowing for a greater serving and bagging area. Easy use is facilitated with the new large 10.4 inch SVGA (800 x 600 dots) colour LCD touch-screen that tilts to suit individual staff members’ viewing areas.
There is a large customer display that allows the customer to check the entry at point of purchase; view the running receipt total, and payment confirmation together with an easy to read, 80mm receipt. Pre-installed, both units feature access to web browsers and email. Essential when Hudz operate one of the largest online stores nationwide for urban fashion, so if a particular stock item or size isn’t available instore, it can quickly be identified online by the sales assistant. Twitter and Facebook are also quickly populated with the store set to firmly increase its social networking presence.
Power and noise have also been dramatically reduced. The V-R100 hardware platform consumes considerably less power than the former PC based EPoS systems which accommodated disks and fans, with the V-R100 requiring only 20 watts on full power and 4.1 watts in stand-by mode. This has saved Hudz over 85% on comparative electricity costs – critical when electricity costs are only set to rise exponentially.
Adding new stock items is now incredibly effective. The combined power of Fashion Master on the V-R100 platform guides Hudz seamlessly through the steps of goods receiving, warehousing, bar-coding and sales order processing, with items being quickly uplifted onto the system within minutes.
Elaine concludes: “We have long been advocates of EPoS and Fashion Master. Now with the addition of the V-R100 running on the Android smart platform, we have future proofed our investment; reduced overheads; opened doors to a host of retail APPs and are ultimately able to provide our customers with enhanced customer service.”