Supporting Growth of a Leading Irish Retail Brand

15 November 2022
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CARRAIG DONN is one of Ireland’s premier fashion and lifestyle retailers. Founded in 1965, the company established its name as a knitwear manufacturer and vendor. Nowadays it specialises in clothing, homeware, jewellery and giftware, enjoying a long-standing reputation among consumers for quality and value.

There are currently 43 CARRAIG DONN stores across Ireland, a number that has more than doubled since 2010. That expansion has coincided with the company partnering with retail technology specialist Futura as lead supplier of POS and eCommerce solutions – a relationship which has also led to CARRAIG DONN adopting AURES EPOS terminals across its stores.

“We started working with CARRAIG DONN in 2010,” said Tina Royall, Marketing Director at Futura. “At that time they had 20 stores with a total of 45 tills. The initial project saw us replace their EPOS solution and their head office retail systems entirely with Futura software. We also supplied some new EPOS terminals, which at the time were AURES Odyssey units.”

EPOS Expansion

At the time, CARRAIG DONN’s switch to Futura was very much undertaken with expansion in mind. The company wanted a dynamic, agile, future-facing EPOS solution that would make it easy to connect more and more tills as new stores opened, while also providing stable sales, merchandising and inventory management across the whole group.

Stability is the word Éidhne Conlon, CARRAIG DONN’s Head of IT, chooses to sum up what Futura brings to the table and why the relationship is still going strong.

“The system just works with the minimum number of issues, “ he said. “With over forty stores dotted around the country this is a major strength.  With Futura as a POS partner, any issues (hardware or software) are addressed quickly and professionally.  Futura is always ready to help with development of bespoke solutions, specific to our needs.”

Over the years, Futura has continued to roll out features and functionality that have added value to CARRAIG DONN’s in-store operations, including introducing its own points-based loyalty module, customer capture and data analytics.

Éidhne picks out Futura’s intelligent stock allocation, replenishment and product ordering modules for particular praise. “Without a doubt, the replenishment model that’s built into Futura (for both replenishment from warehouse and reorders from suppliers) is a big winner for us,” he said.

Futura has also played a key role in integrating CARRAIG DONN’s in-store systems with its eCommerce operations. The popular carraigdonn.com website is built on Shopify, but Futura set up plugin integrations to connect the platform directly to their retail software.

It has also developed an order management system for processing web orders and, most recently, a web returns app for tills so web returns can be managed in store.

Hardware of Choice

CARRAIG DONN’s rapid growth in terms of opening new stores has also meant a big expansion in its EPOS hardware assets. Across its 43 stores, it now operates 108 tills.

Having supplied AURES till terminals to new CARRAIG DONN stores as and when they opened over the past few years, in 2021 Futura undertook a major project to replace most of the legacy till systems in the original stores with cutting edge new AURES products.

In total it supplied 49 terminals – 39 SANGO I3 units and 10 YUNO B I5s. Both types of terminal offer super-fast, energy efficient performance ideal for standing up to the demands of a busy retail environment, with industry-leading processors, high speed solid state drives (SSDs) and 4GB of RAM as standard.

The YUNO B in particular is an extremely powerful EPOS terminal, a high performance upgrade on the popular YUNO range. It boasts a 128GB drive and up to 32GB memory, which allows terminals to run multiple resource-intensive applications simultaneously with no lag. CARRAIG DONN also opted for the widescreen 16:9 PCAP touchscreen version, offering a large user-friendly interface despite the rest of the unit’s compact size.

According to Tina, the resilience and reliability of AURES terminals is a key reason why Futura recommends them to clients as standard – along with the fact that the sleek, attractive designs make them an easy fit for any retail environment.

“Since we switched to AURES as our key partner, the amount of hardware issues we deal with has dropped dramatically,” explained Tina. “Their systems are extremely robust and reliable and therefore perfect for retail, as well as being aesthetically pleasing.

“The price point is very reasonable and the three-year warranty is exceptionally good value – and again, great for a sector that can’t wait for repairs. AURES is always the first hardware option we present to the client.”

Éidhne agrees. Asked what he likes most about AURES terminals, he said: “It’s between the looks and the stability – the SANGO, in particular, is a good-looking POS. We rarely have issues with the hardware. Some of the older Odyssey tills that we replaced only last year were running seven days a week for about 11 years.”

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