From opening its first store in London in January 2001, 99p Stores have enjoyed outstanding success. This is reflected in the growth of the number of stores to over 40 in early 2006.
This success has been based on providing a unique range of products that are not only very affordable but are of much higher quality than those found in other value shopping chains. Everything in the stores is priced at 99p or less, offering customers, in these cost-conscious times, the potential to save money week after week.
In 2005 their warehouse and head office were relocated from its original London base to a brand new 150,000 sq ft unit in Daventry. The company now employs in excess of 800 people.
Value retailing is one of the fastest growing sub-sectors of the UK retail industry and competition is high. The expansion enjoyed by 99p Stores has provided the scale, purchasing power and access to new customers all of which are necessary to lead this rapidly growing market.
However, underpinning this is the need for the right infrastructure to support the business now and into the future. Nadir Lalani, Chairman of 99p Stores explained:
“We want to ensure that our infrastructure is an enabler to the business, not a barrier as I've seen with other organisations. After we won £5M in backing from Barclay Venture Capital during 2004 we knew we had to invest wisely in making our infrastructure an important part of the business.”
A critical part of this was replacing their aged ISDN communications network that was used to facilitate communications and information between the head office and the stores.
Specialist retail experience
After reviewing the technology options open to them, 99p Stores eventually decided to implement a private Broadband network to replace the ISDN lines. They chose Stockport based Vodat International to design and manage the network.
Vodat are the only communication solution provider specialising in retail environments. Their innovative and cost-effective solutions enable retailers to utilise Broadband technologies to add value and deliver real bottom-line benefits to their organisation. With over 20 years experience of providing solutions to the retail sector, they are now the largest supplier of private, managed broadband networks to the UK retail market, overseeing communication systems in thousands of stores across the UK and Europe.
The Vodat strategic managed communication platform provides fixed-cost technologies that not only enable information to be shared between locations, but also offer the capability of additional profit-enhancing applications. Such as:
- Free telephone calls between stores
- On-line training for staff
- In-store TV marketing
- Video conferencing
Saleem Karim, Financial Director for 99p Stores commented on their decision to partner with Vodat on this important project:
“We chose Vodat because of their specialist retail experience and their willingness to work flexibly with us during this important period of growth for our business. Their solution allows us to improve the speed and quality of our telecommunication links at a known and fixed cost.”
More efficient business
Whilst the network will initially be used for EPOS transaction information and credit card authorisation, it will eventually be expanded to provide VOIP (Voice over IP) and e-mail facilities across the entire organisation.
Nadir Lalani, concluded.
“The new network will not only enable us to have fixed cost communications, but will allow us to expand the use we make of our network to deliver more efficiency into the business and better value to our loyal customers – at no additional communication cost”.
Further benefit is provided in that the managed platform, supported by experienced Vodat consultants, enables 99p Stores IT department to concentrate on projects that give the business a real competitive edge, rather than having to deal with day to day issues.
Mike Bielinski, CEO of Vodat International concluded:
“We are delighted to be working with such a fast-expanding and go-ahead company as 99p Stores. Retailers are at last enjoying the major benefits that can be gained through the use of broadband. Using a managed private network, Vodat can provide retail clients with a range of IT solutions that will revolutionise the way they work as well as providing substantial cost savings and competitive advantage.”
For details about lowering your costs by using a private broadband network for EPOS transactions, credit card processing, VoIP and e-mail across all your UK retail operations, call Vodat International on 0161 406 1820 or contact us by e-mail.< Back to Case studies