UK retail newcomer Smiggle, which specialises in brightly coloured children's stationery, is taking a joined-up approach to its retail operations as it opens stores across the country.

The Australia-based stationer has opened seven shopping-centre stores in the south-east of England to date, including one in Westfield Stratford, and has worked with technology provider Hughes Europe to ensure its sales are linked to its stocking and distribution centre, as well as its headquarters in Melbourne.

Smiggle is looking to grow quickly in the UK, and has targeted up to 20 stores by the end of the year. The UK journey so far has been supported by the HughesON managed network services, comprising business broadband DSL and back-up 3G routing technology that means the retailer's systems automatically switch to wireless operations in the event of a temporary service interruption.

Frank De Sa, chief information officer at Smiggle and its parent company Just Group, said Hughes Europe was "highly recommended" by an established retailer already operating in the UK.

"The company's expertise, Europe-wide reach and agile approach were key factors in choosing them as our preferred UK supplier, along with rapid response, delivery capability and provision of a dedicated team," he added.

Smiggle's parent company Premier Investments said earlier this year that it sees room for 200 stores in the UK, offering a potential AU$200 million boost to revenue over the next five years.

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