High street lingerie chain La Senza is scrapping its legacy Unix-based store system and replacing it with a Windows NT solution.
The company plans to equip 25 of its 40 stores with the system by the end of the year. Each store will be connected to its UK headquarters in London and corporate HQ in Canada via an ISDN network. Roll-out will begin later this month.
The network will allow the London office to contact retail outlets nationwide and obtain the latest sales and stock information.
Each store is equipped with three tills, connected to a back-office server.
The tills are based on standard ICL PCs running a Windows-based EPOS (electronic point of sale) system supplied by The BIT Group. The back-end server runs The BIT Group's Shopmaster 2000 store-management software on an ICL ErgoPro Pentium-based machine equipped with Windows NT 4.0 Server and Microsoft Exchange. Shopmaster 2000 handles till sale transactions, and provides stock control and management reports. It also has the ability to reconcile orders.
Currently, Shopmaster 2000 connects to a Microsoft Access database located in each store, and to an Access system at La Senza's London office. However, the company is evaluating SQL Server with a view to using it in place of the less sophisticated Access.
Joel Teitelbaum, managing director of La Senza, said: "My vision is to have our staff access information from wherever they are. The new system will enhance our ability to communicate with our stores. We can be on-line with our stores and bring them on-line to our intranet."
One anticipated benefit of the system is that it will reduce the time it takes to transmit product information between stores. Traditionally, this information has been sent in paper format by courier, fax or post.
"With no incremental cost to our organisation we can now send full colour pictures and post training and multimedia Email, in real time," Teitelbaum said.
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