WHSmith is planning a major upgrade across its point-of-sale estate in the UK and Europe. The company will upgrade to Aptos Store 6.4, which it intends to roll-out in more than 900 retail locations. All stores will be upgraded.
In addition, WHSmith will also be contracting a suite of managed services from Aptos, including helpdesk, second and third-line support, and hardware maintenance.
The retailer, best known for selling books and newspapers, will upgrade its entire point-of-sale software estate, but not terminals.
However, the upgrade will enable WHSmith to more easily install mobile terminals in the future, making stores both more easily re-configurable, as well as freeing staff to interact with the public more directly using tablet computers and other handheld devices.
The agreement with Atlanta, Georgia-based Aptos is intended to support the company's expansion plans, said WHSmith CIO Ian Windsor.
"Investment in our IT infrastructure across our High Street and Travel channels is key to our development strategy. We need solid and reliable in-store technology to support our expansion plans and we are confident that Aptos can provide this along with the required support," said Windsor.
The project has already started and the roll-out is expected to be completed in early 2019.
WHSmith was founded in 1792 has increasingly become associated with the dilapidated state of many of its stores, as reflected in the popularity of the @WHS_Carpet Twitter account.
Retail systems company Aptos was previously part of the enterprise resource planning (ERP) software conglomerate Epicor. Called Epicor Retail, it was renamed and spun-out of Epicor in June 2015 as an independent, private-equity-owned company.
The company drove further into the UK market with the acquisition of BT Expedite, one of BT's services arms and the exclusive reseller of Aptos systems and software in Europe, in September last year.
Included in the transaction was a clienteling application currently resold by Aptos in North America; a retail learning-management system; the Mercatus merchandising platform; and an e-commerce platform, called FrescaCommerce.
"As the mainstay of BT Expedite's business was focused on selling and servicing Aptos solutions such as POS, CRM, and Audit and Operations Management, the integration of the two companies and their respective product portfolios offers tremendous synergies and very low product overlap," said Ian Rawlins, Aptos strategy leader, at the time.
He added that the deal would help Aptos to bring its Aptos Singular Commerce platform to European retailers, "including the latest versions of Aptos solutions such as Merchandising, Analytics and Enterprise Order Management".
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