Retail IT spend up 27% on back of chip and Pin

The UK’s top 100 retailers have spent £1.8bn on IT in the past 12 months - a rise of 27% - driven by chip and Pin-related...

The UK’s top 100 retailers have spent £1.8bn on IT in the past 12 months - a rise of 27% - driven by chip and Pin-related point-of-sale upgrades and increased confidence, research has revealed.


The survey, from the Retail Knowledge Bank, revealed that the top 100 retailers spent an average of 1.4% of their annual sales on technology in 2003, up from 1.1% last year.


“We believe that this represents increased expenditure on chip and Pin implementations, plus a realisation that technology improvements can be translated into profitability increases,” the report said.


The increase in spend was also driven by interest in software that has often been seen as peripheral in the past, such as space management applications (used for optimising available space in the store), which are now used by 54% of respondents, up from 47% last year, and time and attendance systems up to 48% from 33%.


Radio frequency identification technology, despite adverse publicity over privacy fears, is also gaining traction, with 8% of retailers already trialling it, 5% with plans to use it in the next year and 10% “seriously investigating” its use.


Martin Atherton, managing analyst at research firm Datamonitor, said the results of the survey reflect the increasing confidence in supply chain and collaborative technologies among UK retailers.


“It could be said that it is the retail supply chain's turn to benefit from e-business. We've had ERP, we've had CRM, now we are seeing the practical benefits of recent advances in supply chain, fulfilment and collaborative technologies,” he said.


“Although there's always lots of different flavours of projects going on, the last 12 months have been heavily characterised by retail IT stories, issues and successes.”

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