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Ernsting’s Family brings endless shelf onto iPad

Ernsting’s Family plans to equip its 1,850 stores with iPads on which employees can find goods for customers in other stores and reorder them online. The textile retailer developed its ‘endless shelf’ app with CaperWhite. Lodata supplies the shops with the hardware including special scanners from Newland.

Ernsting’s Family is already testing its new omnichannel processes in 52 of its shops: On an iPad, which runs independently of the cash register, employees can order goods that are not on site for their customers to pick up in their own or another store. They can also see if the desired product is still in stock at a neighbouring store and can order the goods for delivery to the customer for a shipping fee.

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The iOS app was developed by Stuttgart-based omnichannel experts CaperWhite, who also have SportScheck and Manufactum as customers. Starting in September, the iPads will now be introduced in all 1,850 stores in Germany and Austria, Daniel Burkart, Team Leader POS Store Systems at Ernsting’s Family told Retail Optimiser. It will then probably take half a year until the roll-out is completed.

Ordering with customer card data

Holders of the customer loyalty programme can have their ‘Jahreskarte’ scanned and their data is ready for the ordering process. Staff will also carry out new registrations for the loyalty scheme for their customers on request on the new iPads.

Beyond the omnichannel processes, the tablet PCs will also replace paper-based communication with the branches as far as possible, reveals Daniel Burkart. Already with the roll-out, the employees receive important information and assistance via the iPad. In the future, the Ernsting’s Family team would also like to bring task management and electronic staff scheduling to the new devices.

Ernsting’s Family is supported by Lodata in the procurement and logistics of the hardware for the stores. Together with the iPad, the branches will also be equipped with new receipt printers from Toshiba as well as cash drawers from Anker, which were also procured through Lodata. The POS specialists not only purchase hardware for the chain store, but also send out packages on time with exactly the parts the technician on site needs to install the new technology. Excess material and packaging are removed before shipping.

Special scanners for the iPad

For the interaction with the new iPads, Lodata has procured special scanners from Newland for the textile retail company. These support the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) protocol, which offers the advantage that the scanners thus automatically connect to the iOS app Endless Shelf without the manual pairing of the Bluetooth connection.

Daniel Burkart is very satisfied with purchasing and shipping hardware through Lodata’s specialists: “We get the technology at fair prices and don’t have to worry about its logistics to the stores,” he says.

New hardware from Toshiba

Already last year, Ernsting’s Family procured its new checkout PCs and monitors completely via Lodata which also sent them to the stores. The choice fell on hardware from Toshiba. Fiscalisation has also already been realised with a hardware solution from Swissbit, which was also purchased via Lodata.

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Björn Weber

Björn Weber has been a journalist, analyst and consultant specialising in the retail and consumer goods industry for over 20 years. Prior to founding Fourspot, which is publishing The Retail Optimiser, Björn Weber headed the international analyst group LZ Retailytics. Previously, he was Research Director Retail Technology and Head of Planet Retail in Germany. Before that, Björn Weber was editor for IT & logistics topics at Lebensmittel Zeitung for eight years. Björn Weber is a member of the jury of the Retail Technology Award (Reta Europe) of the EHI. He is a regular speaker at events of the EHI, the NRF, industry media and the Consumer Goods Forum.

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