Retail solutions company Hughes Europe is returning to RBTE, and it will be showcasing its range of products at the two-day event at London Olympia between 9-10 March 2016.

Essential Retail caught up with Dan Thornton, head of solution development at Hughes Europe, to find out more about the company and its plans for the spring show.

Why have you booked for RBTE 2016? 

Retail is a key area of focus for Hughes Europe. We have many years of experience as a managed services provider, with multiple solutions that are bringing retailers huge competitive advantage in omni-channel operations and increased personalisation. 

In each case we build a bespoke solution that matches the retailer’s individual needs. Since Hughes is not tied to any one connectivity service provider and is completely agnostic about technology, we always offer the most appropriate services for each customer.

In terms of geography, Hughes has full end-to-end pan-European managed service implementation, making RBTE the perfect platform for us to showcase our many capabilities and demonstrate how retailers can maximise the benefits of working with a single supplier across the entire continent.  

What new technology will you be displaying at RBTE 2016, and why is it relevant?  

Hughes deploys some of the most advanced technologies in retail and at RBTE 2016 we will be covering the major developments such as enhancements in PCI-compliant security, enablement for contactless payment methods and increased use of in-store Wi-Fi. Our strength is in providing robust networks that are capable of withstanding the growing number of security threats faced by retailers.

We are also at the forefront of supporting retailers as they adapt their premises to changing shopping habits. Many store operators, for example, have introduced cafes, refreshment facilities or break-out relaxation areas on their premises and at RBTE 2016, Hughes Europe will be ready to discuss how its scalable Wi-Fi is helping boost revenue by making it easier for customers to order food and drink by using their own devices and encouraging them to stay longer with secure and completely resilient connectivity. 

Name some of the retailers that you are currently working alongside?

Hughes Europe works alongside major global retail brands such as BP, where its managed network services connect the oil giant’s thousands of retail premises in the UK, Spain, Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland and Germany. In Europe, BP Retail is using DSL at more than 4,000 sites and satellite broadband at more than 6,000 additional sites.

This blend of technology ensures timely delivery of business-critical information no matter how remote the location, while ensuring the network is fully optimised and costs controlled.

Hughes is also proud to have been selected by Smiggle, the youthful Australian stationery company that has embarked on an ambitious programme of store openings in the UK as the first step in its entry into the European market. 

Smiggle wanted a single communications provider that combined the necessary scale and expertise with the ability to meet its precise requirements. Hughes is providing resilient connectivity in 100 new UK stores as part of a three-year contract with Smiggle.

What's the best customer service you've experienced this year?

The best customer service for me always involves a smile. Without any hint of bias I can say that our receptionist at Hughes Europe headquarters in Milton Keynes provides excellent customer service – nothing is too much trouble. Equally, I found superb customer service at Bicester Village designer outlet when buying an expensive handbag for my wife. Smaller retailers often have a better knowledge base and a more personalised approach to service which all the larger organisations are trying to match. 

Quick-fire question round: Do you...

Shop in-store or online? Both

Prefer tea or coffee? Coffee

Use Facebook or Twitter? Twitter

Use iOS or Android? Android

Rate beacons or digital signage? Each of these technologies has immense potential if properly installed and intelligently utilised.

Use contactless or cash? Cash, for the time being

Visitors to RBTE 2016 can meet with Hughes Europe at Stand 240.