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New business model justifies cost of Epos replacement at Threshers

Will Hadfield

Off licence chain Threshers is replacing its electronic point of sale systems following a change in business strategy at the beginning of the year saw it begin to transfer stores to a franchise model.

The retailer, which has more than 2,000 stores, is the UK's largest high-street off licence. Its IT director Simon Thomas said he had put off a refresh of the company's Epos system when it made other changes to its business systems because he could not justify the cost of new hardware and software.

Thomas said, "We were waiting for the clear reason to replace our till systems. The existing systems were pretty cost-effective to maintain, but pretty expensive to replace."

The change to a franchise model provided the trigger for change and the new systems have already been rolled out to the first Threshers stores to become franchise operations, with 200 more to follow next month.

Threshers is using supplier Fujitsu to deliver Epos, stock management, customer relationship management and chip and Pin applications to the franchised stores through a managed services contract.

Threshers plans to eventually move to a business model where all its stores are franchise operations.

The managed service is mandatory for Threshers franchisees. Thomas said, "If you are going to make something mandatory, it has to be competitive. No franchisee will be able to say they could get a better system elsewhere." 

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