Industry News

in IMACD Projects, Industry News, Managed Services, Retail POS, SCT News, SCT Success Stories

Intersport Elverys Rollout New POS Tills Throughout Ireland

Elverys Sports was established in 1847 and is the oldest sports store in Ireland. Intersport Elverys have expanded from a single store operation to 46 stores nationwide with over 700 hundred staff and are proud to be wholly Irish owned.

Early in 2021, Elverys faced a challenge-

  • How to deploy leading edge Hardware and Software into their retail estate without impacting internal day to day I.T support Operations or delay other critical  I.T. Projects.

 Critical criteria of the project  included identifying a partner with;

  • A track record in delivering complex IT projects across a retail estate
  • Strong Project Management resources
  • Single Point of contact for Hardware and licensing procurement
  • Off-Site Staging facilities and capability
  • Experienced Retail IT deployment Engineers
  • The skills and culture to work professionally with the Elverys IT team at every stage

Having worked successfully with Store Computer Technology (SCT) in the past, the decision to engage SCT as their project partner was quickly made.

The Project


Detailed schedules we drawn up to minimize downtime in store at all times. The schedule required;

  • The deployment would not impact in any way on store trading
  • Designed to complete the deployment by a set end date
  • Factor in staggered hardware and licensing delivery dates and potential delays
  • Flexibility in scheduling to cater for changing customer requirements


Real-time information on Project Progress, POS by POS installation, was relayed to Elverys by the deployment team through the SCT Projects Client Portal. Information relayed back to the customer included;

  • Quality Checks as defined by the customer
  • System Checks as defined by the customer
  • Asset and License Information per POS/per STORE
  • Project progress v Customer KPI’s
  • Photographic evidence of onsite installs
  • Customer Sign-off and evidence the POS is ready to trade

While achieving all the objectives defined at the outset by the customer, this project was completed on time and within budget.

For more information on SCT’s range of services, please contact Jim Murphy on


in IMACD Projects, Industry News, Managed Services, Retail POS, SCT News, SCT Success Stories

Store Computer Technology (SCT) are on STANDBY to Rollout Major EPoS Projects

Store Computer Technology Ltd (SCT) are a leading provider of Rollout / IMACD Project Services, Service Desk, On-Site IT, Maintenance Support to many of Ireland’s and Europe’s leading Retail and Leisure Organisations. We have been providing these services for over 26 years now.

SCT are on Standby and Ready for the following Imminent projects:

HP Elite Retail System Products

Stage, Install and On-Going Support for a large client in the Forecourts area.

Toshiba Retail System Products

SCT were selected by a large US client in the Sports Footwear area that requires all Services to be carried out by a company in a European Union country for Stage, Install and Support.


SCT have been selected to supply and install POS tills to a large company in the Travel area in Ireland.

For more information our our Services including 24 x 7 x 365 Helpdesk Support please contact Jim on +353 (0) 1 5241389 or


in Industry News

Analysis: Five socially distanced shopping trends that are here to stay

From virtual interior design consultations to drive-thru collections, retailers have had to re-examine how they do business in the wake of Coronavirus. Retail Week takes a look at the measures that will have staying power long after the two-metre rule has been scrapped.

  • Retailers are offering speedier and more innovative click-and-collect services, such as items being ready to pick up in 10 minutes and staff members taking shopping lists at the door
  • Virtual shopping services and online consultations allow customers to browse and learn while remaining at home
  • Customer hosts are in place at some stores, greeting shoppers at the entrance and advising on new in-store habits such as use of hand sanitiser and direction of travel
  • Drive-thru services have moved beyond fast food and into retail territory, with many retailers offering car park pick-up and zero-contact options

Disinfectant-covered shopping trolleys, staff wearing face shields and arrows directing customers around a one-way system in stores would have seemed absurd just a few months ago but are all part of the everyday shopping experience now.

It goes without saying that Covid-19 has changed the way people shop. Gone are the days of shoppers idly browsing the shelves on lengthy shopping trips, with speed, safety and hygiene all now top of the agenda.

Despite social distancing measures continuing to be relaxed, it will be quite some time before the consumer mindset does the same.

Recent findings from EY Future Consumer Index reveal that seven in 10 consumers are uncomfortable going shopping, with 45% saying the way they shop will change over the next one to two years.

With shoppers remaining uneasy, the raft of new shopping methods that retailers have put into place during the pandemic could be set to stay.

Here’s a handful of innovative ways retailers are serving customers that could stand the test of time in this new retail world.

Supercharged click and collect

Shoppers have quickly grown used to queues snaking around the car park to get into their local shop.

However, to make sure this time is not wasted, retailers are getting customers’ purchases ready before they’ve set foot in store.

click and collect keyboard_577244392

The Entertainer launched a ‘ready in 10’ service, which enables queuing shoppers to make an order from their phone that can then be collected from the shop within 10 minutes. Similarly, customers who know what they want can tell a colleague at the door and be fast-tracked to the payment area.

HMV has introduced a new ‘list and leave’ service, which enables customers to drop off a list of items they want to buy and a member of staff will then select the products from the shelves.

Some retailers have also turned their stores into local fulfilment centres, or ‘dark stores’.

Prior to reopening some of its branches in late May, Halfords turned 335 of its 446 shops into ‘dark stores’, allowing customers to place orders with staff at the entrance but prohibiting them from entering the store itself.

Using these speedy fulfilment models enables retailers to serve more people and means anxious customers don’t have to wander around the store – a win-win for both parties.

And with nervousness about shopping not going anywhere fast, these supercharged click-and-collect options will be here to stay.

Virtual consultations

Woman on laptop at home

Virtual shopping services seek to offer shoppers face-to-face interaction

From Saturday night Zoom quizzes to Skype boardroom meetings, the internet has provided much needed face-to-face interaction throughout the crisis.

Retailers too have turned to a virtual world in an attempt to retain a personal touch where physical interaction is limited.

Dunelm is trialling a virtual shopping service allowing customers to browse its Redditch and Erdington branches via an interactive video call.

On the call a ‘shopping companion’ discusses ideas and picks out options before sending over a shopping list. If the trial is successful the homewares retailer plans to expand this to all other branches.

John Lewis has also taken its in-store services online, with customer appointments available for advice on areas such as interior design, planning for the arrival of a baby or personal styling.

These online interactions could remain long after the social distancing measures are removed as they provide a new aspect to online trading, one which gives personality as well as personalisation and has the potential to turn browsers into buyers.

Customer hosts

We’re used to entering hotels or restaurants and being greeted by a concierge or maître d’ so it’s almost a surprise it has taken the retail world so long to try out something similar.


Fenwick is among the stores offering customer hosts at entrances to welcome and guide shoppers

However, in a matter of weeks, customer hosts have become the norm across shops, with many retailers opting to have a member of staff at the door.

This role differs slightly across each business, however duties include greeting shoppers, providing instructions on sanitiser and direction of travel, or simply monitoring flow in and out of the store.

Fenwick retail operations director Pablo Sueiras says the department store group is effectively following a hotel model and having a concierge at the front of the store to “put customers at ease and reassure them”.

He says this reduces the need for customers to spend their shopping trip reading signs, which he describes as “exhausting”.

These customer hosts give shoppers a warm welcome to store and ensure they feel at ease and informed of safety measures for that particular branch.

It is a role that is very much needed while social distancing is in place but could last beyond that.

Drive-thru collection

Greggs drive through

Under UK lockdown drive-thru services have moved beyond fast food and into retail territory

Consumers are already well versed in how drive-thrus operate but the service is moving beyond simply collecting burgers.

Retailers have taken a leaf out of the fast-food book with many starting to offer drive-thru collections.

Dixons Carphone offers a zero-contact drive-thru model, where purchases can be delivered to a customer’s car parked outside of stores without them having to leave the vehicle.

Tesco offers a similar service for grocery orders, while Dunelm’s click-and-collect service provides a phone number to ring when you arrive in the car park.

Globally, drive-thrus across the retail sector have really taken off. France was already one step ahead of the curve on this one, particularly in the grocery sector, where the practice is mainstream.

In the US, Kroger is testing a pick-up-only store in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Dubai-based home, garden and hardware retailer Ace opened what it claims is the UAE’s “first drive-thru retail experience” where customers text a number to say they have arrived and purchases are brought straight to the boot of their car.

This low-cost and low-contact format is particularly useful for the elderly and vulnerable consumers, or those with a car full of kids.

Drive-thru makes click and collect even more convenient and will likely become a permanent fixture post-pandemic.

Essential food boxes

The likes of Gousto and Hello Fresh have proved in recent years that there is a hunger for streamlined food shopping, with their recipe boxes increasingly popular.

MS Simply Food

Marks & Spencer is among the retailers that have offered food boxes featuring essential items

As the pandemic struck and pressure piled on to the supermarkets, a number of major grocers launched essential food boxes.

Particularly helpful for those self-isolating or unable to leave their houses, Asda, Aldi, Morrisons and Marks & Spencer launched food boxes containing staples such as bread, pasta, tinned items and tea bags.

The ease of buying a week’s worth of food could prove popular once the virus has abated, particularly for those buying groceries for others, such as elderly relatives.

There is also scope to extend this offering to include recipe cards and meal suggestions.

Marks & Spencer has already grown its food box offering to include separate fruit and veg boxes, an Indian ready-meal selection and British summer meat boxes.

in Industry News

Preventative Maintenance Visit with UV Cleaning Before Store Opening

Get your Store’s POS equipment Tested, Repaired and Sanitised and be Ready for the Big Opening.
For many years SCT have been providing a Preventative Maintenance service to many of our clients.
This service is usually provided before busy sales periods to ensure that all the POS equipment and cabling is functioning efficiently.
UV Sanitising Option
SCT can now provide a UV Sanitising option on:
  • POS Touchscreen / Monitors
  • Chic & Pin Devices, stands and cables
  • Peripherals devices
SCT are also providing portable UV cleaners for companies to purchase.
Contact Jim at or  for more information or email.
in Industry News

Banking Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) Protecting Your Business Against Fraud

The following crime prevention advice on credit card machine fraud is highlighted upon NCPU awareness of a fraudulent incident in Northern Ireland where a credit card machine was removed from the business reception area and large sums of money were refunded to a credit card.

Staff should keep track of their payment card equipment, including credit card terminals, desktop or laptop computers, and credit card readers. They should inspect credit card terminals regularly and routinely examine devices for signs of tampering, like items plugged into ports, USB drives, scratches on coverings, or objects attached in front of or behind card swipe slots.

Please note Banking Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) Protecting Your Business Against Fraud – Check List:

• Ensure that you have CCTV cameras installed in your shop. These are a proven deterrent to criminal activity. Make sure they are in working order, that the date and time are correct on them and that they are pointing in the right direction. (Clocks went forward 29th March)
• Position PIN Entry Devices where customers can enter their PIN without being overlooked by other customers or staff members.
• Ensure that staff members receive training on basic crime and fraud issues – simple points of information can help prevent your business losing money through fraud.
• Ensure the card data that you are recording or holding is protected under the payment card industry standards – PCI Security Standards (talk to your card processor for more details).
• Make sure that you keep transaction information for the required length of time (as per your card processor’s terms and conditions). If a cardholder disputes a non-Chip & PIN transaction, you may need to produce documentary evidence to prove that they carried out a given purchase at your store.
• Familiarise yourself with your card terminal and PIN Entry device. Check them regularly for any irregularities.
• It is important to pre-arrange any terminal engineer visits from your card processor, especially when setting up a new business. Criminals might use the opportunity to enter your business purporting to be an engineer in order to tamper with your tills and terminals.
• When engineer visits have been arranged with your terminal provider, ensure that all staff members are made aware of the visit and that the individual provides proper identification on arrival. Make sure that someone stays with them at all times.
• Do not engage with people purporting to be from your bank, acquirer, engineers etc. by phone or face to face without first independently verifying their identity
• If you want to accept payment cards on the Internet, by mail order or via telesales: ensure that you have the correct terms set up with your card processor. Retailers that accept cards in a face to face environment are required to adhere to a different set of terms than one which accepts cards in a ‘card not present’ environment.
• Ensure that your internet sales are protected using 3D Secure (talk to your card processor for more details)
• Report all thefts to Gardaí.

Garda National Crime Prevention Unit
Garda HQ, Harcourt Square, Harcourt Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: +353-01-6663313

in Industry News

Coronavirus: Crunch time looms for general merchandise supply chain

The next month will be a make or break period for many retailers desperate to avoid empty shelves as the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the supply chain intensifies.

As the virus continues to wreak havoc across China and new diagnoses emerge in Italy and Iran, the pressure is mounting on retail supply chains, as acknowledged today by fashion giant Primark, which warned of the possibility of product shortages this year.

It is not just fashion retailers that are concerned. General merchandise retailers selling anything from games to gardening goods are increasingly worried, and several retail chiefs told Retail Week the next four to six weeks will be critical for Chinese supply to return to normal – or at least show some big signs of recovery – in China to avoid product shortages.

While many general merchandise and homewares retailers built up supply ahead of Christmas and in anticipation of Chinese New Year – when factory workers typically go home for an extended break – many fear they will soon run low on stock.

This situation has been exacerbated by the fact that, despite the fact that many factories in China have now reopened after being shut down amid coronavirus fears, in many cases the vast majority of workers, many of who went home to rural areas at New Year, have not yet returned due to public transport lockdowns or health fears.

All factories need to obtain a government licence to reopen following the outbreak of the virus, and ships leaving ports also have to obtain a licence before they can depart China, according to one chief executive.

in Industry News

Opinion: Sustainability and purpose are crucial to the future of retail – By Ian Geddes

Retail is facing a period of unprecedented change, as a focus on sustainability and having an authentic purpose become more important to brands and consumers while digital disruption continues.

Most retailers have sustainability on their agenda, but those who don’t prioritise it now are at risk of not surviving the next five to 10 years. Why? Climate and environmental issues are rising up both the consumer and corporate agendas.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos in January, a WEF survey of business leaders showed that the top-five business risks were all environmental.

WEF also published a consumer survey that showed 42% of millennials have begun or deepened a business relationship because a consumer company has had a positive impact on the environment.

Unfortunately, the retail industry is a major contributor to global carbon emissions and climate change, and therefore retailers have an important role to play. Although there is a big moral aspect to this, there is also a significant business opportunity for those businesses that make a meaningful impact.

Ethical shopping

As consumers are becoming more interested in climate change and environmental issues we have seen them consciously reducing the amount that they consume; cutting back and buying less because they care more. This change has fuelled the growth of resale and rental models as well as a greater focus on ethical recycling.

In resale we have seen the emergence of a number of platforms that enable peer-to-peer sales of second-hand and vintage clothing. These businesses have moved quickly from online only, first adding pop-up stores and now offering resale as a service (RAAS) to other retailers.

Rental models, both B2C and peer to peer, are also proving popular, with a growing number of consumers looking to either rent rather than buy items that they may only use once or looking to make money from renting out their own wardrobes.

“Brands that have a cause have more meaning in the eyes of consumers”

This gives a whole new meaning to the term ‘investment pieces’. In fact, resale and rental are fast becoming some of the most dynamic and exciting areas of the market. Therefore the consumer’s growing focus on sustainability is both a challenge and an opportunity for retailers.

Meanwhile, the reinvention of retail continues. 2019 was another tough year for UK retail, with more than 9,000 store closures, a number of high-profile CVAs and administrations, and unfortunately a high number of job losses on the shop floor, in head office and also in the boardroom.

Digital and the growth of ecommerce have driven structural change in the industry, with online accounting for 21% of all retail sales in 2019. Digital has also fuelled innovation and enabled the growth of new competitors. The big online marketplaces now account for 40% of ecommerce sales in the UK.

However, we are also seeing growth driven by the niche players and digital natives enabled by the growth of platforms such as WooCommerce and Shopify, which saw gross merchandise value (GMV) rise by 49% to $61bn (£47bn) in 2019.

Connected Spaces

Over the next 12 months, with the arrival of 5G, we expect to see more connected retail spaces and a focus on how retailers can use virtual and augmented reality to create more immersive experiences, both in-store and online. We also predict the growth of curated marketplaces offering consumers an edited selection of products and a community based on their interests.

Over the next decade, brands will have to regard purpose as the new digital, and it will be as influential in the next 10 years as digital has been in the last 10.

Brands that have a cause have more meaning in the eyes of consumers. We can already see consumers starting to change their behaviour, choosing to favour brands and retailers whose values align with their own.

As retailers start putting purpose at the core of their business, they will have to rethink what they stand for and redefine the commercial model required to deliver it.

Ian Geddes, is lead retail partner at Deloitte.

in Industry News

M&S set to close two distribution centres, 700 jobs at risk

Marks & Spencer is closing two distribution centres in the UK Midlands, putting nearly 700 jobs on the line.

In a bid to save money and improve clothing stock availability, the department store chain is revamping its warehouse network.

Warehouses in Long Eaton, Derbyshire, and Thorncliffe, Sheffield, will close next year. The former is run by logistics firm DHL and the latter is managed by XPO. They employ 662 staff combined.

An M&S spokesperson said: “We’re in the early stages of changing our supply chain to address flow of product and availability for our customers.

“As part of this, we will no longer be serving our stores from our Thorncliffe and Long Eaton distribution centres.

“Moving the operations is not a decision we have taken lightly but it is an important change to help us best serve our customers as we move to a nationally connected network.

“Our logistics partners will be working closely with the colleagues at the sites on what is best for them.”

These closures add to the four warehouses previously shut and means from next year the M&S clothing business will have just six warehouses to serve the whole country.

By Leanne Carr

in Industry News

What impact has ‘game-changing’ M&S-Microsoft tie-up had?

M&S unveiled its “game-changing” tech partnership with Microsoft 20 months ago. What impact has it had so far?

In June 2018, Marks & Spencer unveiled its strategic partnership with tech giant Microsoft to test tech and AI in stores, which the retailer’s chief executive Steve Rowe said “could be a game-changer for M&S – and for retail”

But 20 months on, all has been quiet on the grocery tech front. Have the AI robots burnt out already or are they being kept under wraps until there is solid evidence the hard work has paid off?

What is possible

M&S and Microsoft said they would work together to explore how technologies such as AI can be used within the retail environment to improve customer experience and optimise operations.

M&S plans to integrate machine learning, computer vision and AI across every endpoint, both in stores and behind the scenes, with every surface, screen and scanner creating data employees can act on.

Cameras in-store will be able to provide real-time updates to staff to replenish stock and will monitor incidents such as spillages and alert staff when action is needed.

Technology will also provide data to management if specific aisles are more crowded than others or if the store layout would benefit from being changed.

External data is also analysed, such as local events that may lead to increased footfall, which allows the retailer to flex staffing levels accordingly.

Slow progress?
As impressive – and Big Brother-like – as this all sounds, the technology is still only being trialled in one unnamed M&S store, with no rollout plans as of yet.

Eagle Eye head of industry insight Miya Knights says the tie-up has been “slow to produce tangible results” but suggests benefits may have been made behind the scenes.

“It could be that much of the improvements to date have been made ‘under the covers,’ as it were, focusing on data and infrastructure development to boost flexibility and interoperability.

in Industry News

Marks & Spencer rolls out pay-and-go technology to 50 stores

Marks & Spencer has extended its Mobile Pay Go service to 50 branches, mainly in London, following a successful trial in six stores.

M&S said the checkout-less technology, which enables transactions to be processed in less than 40 seconds, has handled purchases once every three seconds during busy lunchtimes in pilot stores.

The scheme is now being introduced in shops which are particularly busy during daily peak periods. The retailer said its deployment will enable staff to provide enhanced service and slash queuing times.

By George MacDonald