UK-based fashion and homeware brand Cath Kidston has this week overhauled its electronic point of sale (EPoS) systems across its Japanese franchise stores.

In an overnight process, the retailer consolidated its 27-strong franchise store network with Futura Retail Systems' multilingual EpoS solution. The move closely follows the decision by Cath Kidston to buy back its franchise stores from Sanei International.

Futura's EPoS and retail management solution has been used by Cath Kidston in the UK since 2001, while the first deployment of Futura4POS, which is being used in Japan, was initially rolled out to the company's China stores in 2013. Some 35 stores around the world are now using the fourth generation Futura retail system, which is linked in real time to the retailer's back office systems in the UK.

Commenting on the Japan investment, Cath Kidston IT director Karl de Bruijn said: "Futura allows us to develop a full retail model to meet in country requirements and then scale up to what is a significant retail presence.

"Business continuity of course was crucial and we have been able to go from a standing start to 27 stores, all mastered centrally, with minimal support on the ground. The ability to roll out and update from a central point was paramount."

Explaining how the implementation process worked, de Bruijn added: "All we needed in store was to plug in the tills. Futura could then connect remotely to install the system overnight and next day we were operating pretty much as normal."

Cath Kidston will also operate a loyalty reward system, mastered in Futura. The development work is now completed and the system is expected to go live in the near future.

A key feature of the new system in Japan is that it links back to Cath Kidston’s Futura-based head office systems in the UK for an array of daily retail management tasks, such as allocations and merchandising.

"The system is truly global allowing us to master all products and language updates and the like from the UK, including promotions, price changes, and vice versa," explained de Bruijn.

"In effect the business in Japan is half the size of our UK real estate but only requires some 10% of the resourcing, which means we aren’t significantly increasing our overheads. The key is that it is a fully integrated global EPoS set up. Changes we make at head office feed straight through to each store."

Futura Retail Systems will be exhibiting at RBTE 2016, which takes place at London Olympia on 9-10 March 2016. Click here to register for your free event ticket.

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