Bullring aims to be e-enabled shopping centre of the future

Internet-based systems will be at the heart of a new £500m shopping centre in Birmingham, which is due to open in September.

Internet-based systems will be at the heart of a new £500m shopping centre in Birmingham, which is due to open in September.

The Bullring shopping centre, which will house 154 retail outlets, will use online technologies - including internet kiosks, an intranet, SMS and instant messaging - to communicate with retailers and consumers over an IP network, said Bill Ives, project manager at Bullring.

"By putting all our communications online, we will improve central management and overall efficiency," he said. "It is a completely different approach, which we hope will create a role model for all shopping centres."

Every retailer will be provided with a thin client terminal which will be used for sending and receiving internal communications such as security alerts and sales figures, Ives said. "The amount of rent each retailer pays will be linked to revenue, so they will have to input their daily sales figures over the intranet," he said. "We will then publish information back to them letting them, know how they are doing."

The centre's communications system will be based on a SAP platform and software from Comgenic.

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