Epson's store solutions on show at RBTE

Printer and point of sale (PoS) solutions manufacturer Epson is planning to show retailers how its products meet their modern-day requirements as they strive for de-cluttered till-points, cloud-based systems and integrated technology in their stores.

Epson UK is a regular at Europe's largest retail tech solutions exhibition and conference RBTE, but this year the company is taking a fresh approach to its exhibition stand as it looks to replicate a realistic retail environment for visitors to the London Olympia show.

The vendor's stand will have distinct zones, including one focusing on mobility; one providing a mock-up coffee shop displaying how Epson's printers run at the point of sale; and one based on an application the business has developed for ordering takeaways on a smart device.

David Spratt, Epson UK's head of business systems sales, said the organisation will be displaying its TM Intelligent (TMI) range of solutions at the event. The company is hoping to demonstrate what it can do that makes it stand out from other players in the market.

"There's a trend in retail towards hosted applications, along the lines of cloud computing," Spratt explained.

"The thing about the TMI range is that you can print direct from a hosted application. These intelligent printers don't need a client at the retail end. The printer can control all the peripherals that the traditional PC would have done, including the scanner, cash drawer and payment device.

"It's a far more efficient way to take a sale and it requires less kit, which has got to be a good thing."

Spratt said it has been a good year for Epson so far. The company's financial year runs until 31 March, and the retail department is reportedly 30% ahead in terms of units sold compared to 2013/14.

"By next year we would love to see a greater adoption of our TMI range – if you look at this year the focus has been on engaging with the independent software vendors and developing applications for our tech platform," he noted.

"We're now at a stage where retailers are starting to implementing it; we'd like to see them roll it out and for it to become the standard within the industry."

In an interview with Essential Retail last month, Spratt argued that as the UK economy is showing signs of improvement, this positive environment is filtering down into the retail industry.

Businesses operating in the sector are showing a thirst for investment in technology, he said, with new systems giving retailers an opportunity to compete "like never before".

With retailers showing a willingness to invest in their stores in order to enhance the shopping experience of their customers, Epson is keen to talk to retailers about how it can play a part in their development.

"We're trying to transition our retail business from being a printer supplier to becoming an enabler that provides a platform for these new digital solutions to sit on," Spratt remarked.

"Our challenge is to get the message over to retailers that we have the solution. This is one of the reasons for doing RBTE."

Epson will be exhibiting at RBTE 2015, which takes place at London Olympia between 10-11 March. Attendees can visit Epson at stand 410.

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