Henderson Technology, the leading provider of EPOS, is suppling its EDGEPoS system to ‘The Store’ at University of Essex Students’ Union.
The University of Essex is a campus university based near the town of Colchester. The convenience on site is called ‘The Store’’ store and originally opened in 1970. It is run by The University of Essex Students’ Union.
The University itself has a long history of welcoming students from around the world and the convenience store reflects this international feel by offering shoppers an extensive convenience range, global brands, and healthy choices alongside more conventional student products. But with more local students attending the university, the store now caters more for these customers today.
With over one hundred people working in the store and its niche customer base, the store is packed with products not normally seen in a typical convenience store.
The 150sqm store also has between 2,000 and 3,000 staff members using it with lecturers visiting during lunch breaks and at tea times. Outsiders come in and use the store from the local towns, particularly at out of term time and often come to walk their dogs and use the shop. A lot of conferences take place on the campus and delegates depend on the shop, especially if they are staying in campus accommodation.
Michael Bamford, Retail Manager for the store, said: “It is an interesting dynamic as we get different customers on different days of the week. Monday and Tuesday are by far our busiest days, but Wednesdays are the University’s ‘Sports Day,’ so we must run specific deals to attract sports team members after their matches.
“At the weekends we get around 50% trade compared to weekdays, and this is made up of our international students. We sell a lot more alcohol over the weekend, and much less food-to-go. For example, on a Monday, we sell around eight hundred sandwiches, while on a Saturday we sell approximately two hundred,” he said.
EDGEPoS was installed in August 2022, with five tills – two cash and card cashier served tills; and three card only self-serve tills. “The reason we have the three self-serve tills is because we are extremely busy throughout the day, especially early weekdays during term time. We needed a way to get the customers in and out of the store quickly. Therefore, instead of the five employees we had serving on the tills, I have now reduced this to three members of staff in peak times – two serving and one assisting at the three self-serve tills,” said Bamford.
“I cannot praise the self-checkouts enough; they have been brilliant for us. They quicken up the flow of customers instore and reduce queuing times significantly; but they also have freed up my staff to stock shelves and help customers in other areas of the store. It saves us so much time.”
EDGEPoS is also integrated with their Electronic Shelf Edge Labels (ESELs). This has saved employee hours instore and work brilliantly as far as the customer is concerned. “Customers trust the ESELs, and we do not have any wrong pricing in the store because of these. They work well and the fact that everything is live is extremely helpful.
“We felt it was important to invest in our store to grow our business. We chose EDGEPoS because it is the right thing to do for the future of our business. We are not only looking at what is happening in the next six months, but we are also looking at the next three to five years and I would always advice anyone to invest when you have the money to do so,” Bamford added.
EDGEPoS is also fully integrated with its Navarra Cigarette Gantry which dispenses a packet of cigarettes automatically. This has helped reduce wastage and shrinkage within the store.
Retail Technology Operations Director at Henderson Technology, Darren Nickels, commented: “Retail is a rapidly changing business, and it is great to see how the University of Essex Students’ Union has recognised the impact of innovative technology. We have provided them with a forward-thinking solution which will enable their business to keep its competitive edge and boost profitability.
“We are seeing a definite shift in the attitude of universities over the last 12 months, with increasing importance being placed on retail technology, ease of service, ESELs and self-checkouts. EDGEPoS is an EPOS software solution that is uniquely flexible and can support businesses from one to fifty lanes. The system delivers across all business needs, whilst carefully addressing the key areas of security, operational efficiency, and business development within a store,” he added.
Henderson Technology has its EDGEPoS EPOS system installed in convenience stores at three university sites – Queen’s University Belfast, Ulster University – Coleraine campus and University of Essex Students’ Union.
The company supplies the award-winning global EPOS software system EDGEPoS, designed by retailers, for retailers.