In the Middle East, as everywhere else in today’s world, customers expect a more personalized shopping experience and faster, more flexible access to items they want.
Leading luxury retailer Chalhoub Group, which operates 470 retail outlets in 14 countries, is responding by equipping store associates with access to better, more accurate customer and inventory information and the ability to move throughout the store to help customers find items, complete transactions, even purchase items from other locations. In a recent presentation, Kenza Rekik, Chalhoub Group IT Business Relationship Manager, shared their journey.
To achieve their goals, Chalhoub Group implemented Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service (POS) with mobile associate access in its landmark store Level Shoe District in Dubai. Chalhoub Group completed the implementation, from kick-off to go-live, within just six months.
Xstore helps their store associates provide better, more convenient service through a very large, complex retail environment. Chalhoub’s Level Shoe District, which at 96,000 square feet is arguably the world’s largest shoe store, is divided into 40 designer boutiques and four multi-brand areas: women’s designer, contemporary, mens, and trend. It features a VIP lounge, designer restaurants, a cobbler, and individual shoe stylists.
“Fifty percent of our guests,” said Rekik, “expect to buy online and pick up in-store, and 51% say they expect to have the same experience online and offline. Today’s customer expects convenience, consistency from one channel to another, and to have real-time, personalized interactions, as they become more and more comfortable sharing personal data for tailored offers.”
Increasingly, the Chalhoub Group was finding that its POS configuration and checkout process was failing on several fronts. First, the fixed POS terminals required customers to wait in line to check out. The wait was exacerbated by the system’s slow navigation and invoice printing. Second, customer credit cards had to be entered manually. Moreover, many purchases were handled as cash transaction in which customer data was not captured. Finally, staff executives and associates lacked information to better engage and assist customers, due to a lack of both customer and item data on the shop floor.
Early last year, Chalhoub Group management decided to select and implement a new POS system. The field of possible contenders was narrowed to three candidates which were evaluated on user experience, features, adaptability, regional presence, customer references, cost of implementation, licensing cost, and integration complexity.
“We selected Oracle Retail Xstore,” said Rekik, “based on three criteria: it has the best features, it’s intuitive and easy to use, and it is flexible, adaptable, and easy to roll out.” Specifically, says Rekik, the things the Chaloub Group found most appealing about Xstore included:
6 Months from Kick-off to Go-Live
Working with systems integrator Logic Information Systems, Rekik and her team deployed Oracle Retail Xstore at Level Shoes under six-months as a pilot project. The initial rollout, which is the first implementation of Oracle Retail Xstore in the Middle East, includes 37 stationary terminals and 30 iPhones. When the full implementation is completed later this year, it will include another 30 iPhones.
The implementation is very much a success story, says Rekik, “This is a significant improvement from the way we were doing things in our store,” she says, “and the customers are happy. Our guests love the fact that invoices are sent by email. They are very excited and intrigued about mobile transactions and payments, and they enjoy the faster and smoother checkout process.”
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