6 December 2017

“Having a till down is a mission critical situation for charity shops, which normally only have one till in each shop.  This happens so rarely with AURES terminals, and with the three year on-site warranty, customers have peace of mind that the support will be there, should they need it.”

Sarah Dodd, Commercial Director

Aiding Charity Retail

Supermarkets, department stores, high street chains, convenience – these are the categories most people associate with retail. But the retail sector is much broader and more diverse than that, with dozens of sub-sectors each with their own specialised markets and unique ways of operating.

This includes often having highly specialised requirements for point of sale.

One retail IT systems provider which has embraced the market for niche POS solutions in the UK is KUDOS Software. Veterans of the sector for more than two decades, the Devon-based business started out supplying software to marine equipment vendors, before in more recent years branching out into working with charity shops.

“KUDOS was established in 1995,” said commercial director Sarah Dodd.

“We’ve worked for a long time providing software solutions to the marine sector, helping boat builders, chandleries and boatyards manage all the parts and labour for counter and account sales.  We then grew into the caravan sector due to the similarities with boat sales and developed the software further to help vendors manage new and used unit sales.”

Sarah explained that KUDOS’s move into the charity retail sector coincided with the extension of Gift Aid tax incentives to charity purchases in 2009. “Our first customer was children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent, who are still a customer now. They were looking to computerise their retail network and used the need for Retail Gift Aid as a means to get a retail solution authorised and purchased. 

“Charity retail has been the main area of business growth for us over the past five years, along with furniture reuse, a sub-sector of the charity market. We have a number of multi-site charity customers and also work with a partner, PXTech, who supply the national charities with our software.  The first customer PXTech brought to KUDOS was Save the Children.”

One of KUDOS’s specialties is developing software solutions which automate accounting, bookkeeping and stock control functions associated with point of sale. Its Sage integration platform, Counterpoint, links with Sage 50 and Sage 200 to update records on a transaction by transaction basis. It is this kind of expertise which meant KUDOS was well placed to develop software which could manage Gift Aid at point of sale in charity shops.

“Technically the main differentiator [in charity retail] is the integration with HMRC for Retail Gift Aid and making sure the software keeps up to date with HMRC guidelines,” said Sarah.


“The software has to keep a secure database of donors, a record of the sale value of each donation valid for Gift Aid and who donated it, communicate with the donor, and integrate with HMRC online for the submission of the Gift Aid claims.

“One other differentiator is that in the main charity shops sell donated goods, which have no cost value.  So whilst normal stock control doesn’t apply for donated goods, there are other requirements such as stock rotation between shops, e.g moving to pound shops if the item isn’t selling or to recycling merchants.”

Working with AURES

To complement its software solutions for charity shops, KUDOS has been supplying AURES terminals for as long as it has been working in the sector. “CLIC Sargent implemented AURES OLC15 Odysse touchscreens that linked into their own PCs,” said Sarah.

The main drive for using AURES products, however, was to move away from desktop plug-ins to supplying clients with integrated terminals. As Sarah explained, this is an important factor in providing charity shops with the most straightforward and user-friendly solutions possible.

“Charity shops are manned by volunteers, sometimes even the manager is a volunteer,” said Sarah. “So you get all sorts of skill levels using the tills and a high number of people on shifts each week too. 

“Making sure the POS is easy to use is essential for these reasons. But above that, when it is designed well it can make volunteering at the shop more enjoyable, enable volunteers to engage more with their customers and donors and actually encourage more volunteers to use the till. KUDOS strives to do this and we believe we’re really successful at it too.

“So supplying integrated till terminals is attractive as there is less to get disrupted by cleaning and so on, less risk of displacing connections and other things going wrong.”

KUDOS mainly supply AURES YUNO units to charity shops. The YUNO is a stylish and compact all-in-one POS terminal which combines a touchscreen with a powerful built-in processing unit. Flexible and cost effective, the YUNO is a robust general purpose retail unit. Sarah says they offer the perfect balance of value and reliability for charity shops, plus clients like the way they look in store.

“We have had some really positive feedback on the terminal, the size and the aesthetics,” she said. “IT managers are always happy with the hardware that’s installed.  I think the lack of issues is what it often comes down to.

“Having a till down is a mission critical situation for charity shops, which normally only have one till in each shop. This happens so rarely with AURES terminals, and with the three year on-site warranty, customers have peace of mind that the support will be there, should they need it.”

Overall, Sarah says the relationship KUDOS has built with AURES over a number of years has been extremely positive. “There’s rarely an issue getting the stock we need,” she said.

 “If we need anything out of the ordinary or help with a trial or exhibition or a price,

Steve Hanrahan, our partner in AURES UK, will help wherever he can. The team, like the team at KUDOS, has been there a long time, and I think this is really important for a good working relationship.”

For more information please visit www.kudos-software.co.uk