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Poundland adopts new IT network approach in Europe for Dealz

General merchandise retailer Poundland has reported success in developing a bespoke IT network infrastructure for its business in eastern Europe.

Working with its existing technology partners in the UK, the Pepkor Europe-owned retailer has created an SD-WAN store infrastructure model to power 60 new shops trading under its Dealz fascia in Poland.

Technology partner Vodat International was briefed by Poundland to design a store model that provided the agility, security and scalability needed for a business entering a new territory – and SD-WAN connectivity proved the most appropriate solution.

Dean Bourne, head of service delivery and IT infrastructure at Poundland, commented: “We needed a nimble store network solution that would enable Poundland to make the most of the compelling opportunities to expand in Poland.

“We also needed to manage the Dealz stores from the UK without compromising on mission-critical requirements, such as security.”

He added that SD-WAN connectivity has enabled the “quick and cost-effective reiteration of this tried-and-tested store network model anywhere that has access to the internet”.

Prior to embarking on the project, Poundland was looking for a digital network, which could be managed from the UK and support systems such as electronic point of sale, payments and in-store Wi-Fi.

The network it opted for uses local fibre and is protected by two Fortinet firewalls managed by Vodat in the UK. All the aforementioned operationally critical retail systems were hosted in the cloud and backed up with a 4G router in each Dealz store.

Paul Leybourne, head of sales at Vodat International, says there is growing demand among UK retailers for SD-WAN connectivity as they look to expand abroad, saying it is more cost effective than traditional network structures such as MPLS.

Vodat and Poundland trialled the new network approach in Dealz shops in Swarzedz, Kalisz Kalinka and Pabianice, but the full 60-strong store portfolio in Poland has now adopted the infrastructure or soon will. It is expected Poundland will replicate the model in other countries on its international expansion road map, including Spain.

Meanwhile, earlier today Poundland’s sister company Pepco named Trevor Masters as its new managing director. Masters is the former managing director of Tesco’s international operations, and he replaces Rob Taylor in the Pepco hotseat.