Martin McColl, the company that runs most of Britain's corner shops, is embarking on an eight-year, £19m project to create a national integrated store management system that will help it fight fraud.
The electronic point of sale (EPOS) system from Torex will provide a complete back-office stock control and accounting suite, with integrated digital CCTV and an electronic catalogue system.
It can detect and flag suspicious transactions and automatically capture digital video. Central office or remote users can also use the digital CCTV to monitor stores in real-time.
Jonathan Miller, finance director at Martin McColl, said the company had picked Torex after a full review of its in-store systems and POS strategy. "It will deliver real and measurable business improvements across our estate, increase the productivity of our stores and enhance the overall customer experience," he said.
Martin McColl will install HP RP5700 POS retail processor units with MultiQ touchscreens that support customer-facing video media at the point of sale. It will use Bluetooth hand-held terminals from Nordic ID for stock management at each store.
Online account management for home news delivery will allow customers to order new publications, confirm holiday periods and settle bills over the internet.
Torex will provide hardware and software support services for the next eight years.
Graeme Cooksley, president and chief operating officer for Torex, said the contract was unprecedented in the convenience sector.
Martin McColl is a billion-pound business that runs over 450 convenience stores and 850 newsagents throughout England, Scotland and Wales, as well as more than 460 post offices. It delivers newspapers and magazines daily to over 200,000 homes.