APRICOT

9 October 2017
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The AURES Sango terminals look clean and modern, they are touchscreens so are very easy to use. We have purchased 14 systems so far and wouldn’t hesitate to purchase again, we are certainly happy with the EPOS solution we have and aim to stay with it as we continue to grow.”

Sandie Beaverstock, Apricot Area Manager

The Client

For a company which describes itself as a small, independently owned business, Apricot has an impressive reach. Since opening its first store in the UK in 2007, the women’s fashion retailer has added a further 11 to its portfolio. In addition to its own stores, it has also secured more than 900 concessions across the UK, Europe and as far as the USA, working with major retail brands including New Look, House of Fraser and Debenhams. Apricot has also successfully embraced ecommerce, with a very successful online business.

Apricot’s offer to customers is very simple – affordable, fashionable clothing made to the highest quality standards. Its range extends from wardrobe staples to limited edition and on-trend garments, and as a brand its aim is to appeal equally to mothers and daughters. It has become well known for its signature prints sourced from all over the world. Alongside its exciting clothing collections, Apricot also prides itself on the quality of the service it provides to customers, whether in a store, in a concession or online.

The Challenge

Since opening its first store in 2007, Apricot had sourced all of its point of sale systems through Fashion Master, a company which specialises in EPOS systems for fashion industry retail, wholesaling, mail order, ecommerce, warehousing and distribution.

While the relationship with Fashion Master remained good and the systems served the company well through its initial expansion, a decade on it was becoming increasingly obvious that POS was in need of a revamp.

“Our current systems were getting old and were getting to be a bit of an eyesore in stores,” said Sandie Beaverstock, an area manager at Apricot. “A lot of the old systems were run on Windows XP so they needed changing due to age and support. We also wanted a system that had better speed to be able to serve customers more efficiently.”

The old PC-based systems were taking up space and took away from the chic, sharp design of Apricot stores. Based on Windows XP, there were no longer any security updates or performance patches available from Microsoft, and Fashion Master had stopped development on the Matrix software platform the company was using.

Looking forward, Apricot wanted to prepare for the future by installing a system which could handle multi-channel integration between stores and online. Plus, if they wanted to switch to modern touchscreen interfaces, their existing Windows XP operating system was not capable of supporting them.

The Solution

Fashion Master was taken over by Cunningham’s, a point of sale specialist with more than 40 years’ experience in the retail, hospitality, convenience and wholesale sectors. For Apricot, the change turned out to be very positive.

“Cunninghams has made our relations much more enjoyable,” said Sandie. “It is very easy to talk directly with our account manager Steve [Beechey] and business gets dealt with a lot more smoothly now.”

Steve started working on the Apricot account in 2016 and quickly became a driving force behind the upgrade to new EPOS systems in all 12 of Apricot’s UK stores.

“Steve was the one who suggested these systems to me alongside other choices,” Sandie explained. “He was very clear on what the systems were capable of and gave me his honest opinion on choice and ability to cover what we needed them for.”

Based on Apricot’s requirements, the AURES Sango terminal was recommended as the main hardware component for the new system. An all-in-one EPOS solution, the AURES Sango combines a powerful CPU with an integrated touchscreen, all packaged in an innovative space-saving design.

Steve explained why the Sango was ideal for Apricot: “In the first place, we wanted to upgrade the outdated software Apricot was still using. We wanted to install Fashion Master Retail, which is a much more modern and powerful platform, and offers advanced analysis features such as calculating average spend and counting customers automatically.

“FM Retail is designed for touchscreen terminals, so we had to switch the old PC-based till system too. Sango is ideal, as an all-in-one terminal it is cost effective because it means the client does not have to buy all of the different hardware components separately.

“The Sango offers powerful processing, everything it does is fast and efficient. The touchscreen is also very user friendly, it is what staff are used to these days from their smartphones and tablets, so they find it easier. Apricot also wanted a terminal which would take up less space, so the ‘floating’ design of the Sango is ideal. And they were also very pleased they could get it in white to match the colour scheme of their stores.”

The Benefits

  • Cost-effective all-in-one hardware solution.
  • Powerful processing for increased speed and efficiency.
  • User-friendly touchscreen operation, capable of running the latest retail POS software.
  • Innovative space-saving design – the screen is elevated on an arm, freeing up space underneath with no intrusive base, stand or foot.
  • Choice of colours to fit with the store design.

Sandie said of the new Sango terminals: “They look clean and modern, they blend in well with our colour pallet in store. We also took an added extra customer screen which helps when dealing with foreign customers who may not speak great English, staff can show items and prices on screen.

“The touchscreens are very easy to use. Staff find them easier to use considering today’s mobile phone technology, they are all used to touch screens. Because they are all-in-one terminals, there is less equipment, so that helps with PCI training and making sure staff understand the set up.

“We have purchased 14 systems so far and wouldn’t hesitate to purchase again.”

The Future

Apricot also recently opened its first in-store cafe in Basingstoke, and opted for the super-compact AURES Nino as the cafe’s point of sale terminal. “We purchased this till because it is designed for a café environment,” said Sandie. “It is a smaller space in the café and we need as much space as possible for product. The smaller screen on the Nino is more discreet, and is moveable so it can be angled how needed.”

Growth and diversification has been part of the Apricot story since the company was founded. It plans to continue opening more stores in the UK, and is happy that it has found the right EPOS solutions and partnerships to support continued expansion.

“We are looking to open a number of stand-alone stores in the UK over the next year,” said Sandie. “Cheltenham is the next on our list in Mid-October, which we are excited about. We are certainly happy with the EPOS solution we now have and aim to stay with it as we continue to grow.”

About Apricot

Apricot is a women’s fashion brand founded in 2007. Sourcing fabrics and prints from around the world, all of its clothing and accessory collections are designed in house. With headquarters in central London, Apricot operates 12 stores across the UK and Ireland, and has an international presence with more than 900 concessions in major department stores across the UK, Europe and the USA. 

www.apricotonline.co.uk

About Cunninghams

Cunninghams EPOS Group has more than 40 years’ experience providing point of sale services and solutions across a range of sectors in the UK. With 10 offices across the country, it has a nationwide reach and specialises in integrated hardware and software solutions for sales, online, warehousing and distribution.

Cunninghams partners with some of the biggest EPOS technology vendors, including AURES, Epson, Sage, Magento and Apple Pay. It also develops its own software solutions in-house, and provides services through its own installation, training and support teams.

Cunninghams Epos Group Logo (Transparent BG-Cropped)

Contact

Headley Technology Park
Middle lane
Wythall, Birmingham
B38 0DS
Tel: 0330 024 5014
www.cunninghams.co.uk