IT services and solutions for retail and hospitality

  • 10 Sep 2012

Mint Velvet New Store Openings

Ellie: This month, our client Mint Velvet will be opening their 12th standalone store. To mark the occasion, I am here today with Nigel Hodgkins, our Store Development Consultant, who has supported Mint Velvet store openings from the outset. So Nigel, could you tell me a bit more about this particular store opening please?

Nigel: Yes of course Ellie. The new store is based in Reigate, a historic town in Surrey. Mint Velvet targets affluent market town locations in the main, and as you say, this will be the company’s 12th standalone store. The business also operates concessions in premium department stores such as House of Fraser and John Lewis however.

Ellie: So how has Retail Assist been supporting the launch of new standalone stores exactly – could you talk me through a typical project from your perspective please?

Nigel: We’re contracted to manage the installation of new store openings. So when Retail Assist is approached about a new store, firstly I will cost everything up. I will then order any hardware; which is built at Retail Assist’s Head Office by Gareth Thorley, the Infinity Guru, before being delivered to the store and fitted by Retail Assist Store Systems.

We manage the installation of any phone lines via Vodat, and the chip and pin service via VeriFone. Mint Velvet use the Vodat Meraki WiFi solution in every store and have also introduced customer facing iPads into their stores. The latter will be fitted on the shop wall; throughout the process we work closely with shop fitters. We will then connect the iPad to the WiFi network so that customers are able to use it to browse the online collection.

Mint Velvet use Retail Assist’s supply chain solution Merret, which is integrated to their Infinity Point of Sale software. Whilst on site we will do a number of test transactions to check that the till is working properly before the store opens. Often we are working whilst stock is being delivered and staff are merchandising the store, so it’s rewarding to see the whole site coming together before our eyes.

Ellie: That’s really interesting, so can you tell me what’s next on the agenda after the Reigate store has opened?

Nigel: Mint Velvet are planning to open a further 4 standalone stores by the end of the year so I will also be working on these store openings. The locations for the additional stores are in Harrogate, York, Edinburgh and Beaconsfield.

Ellie: Brilliant, thank you for your time Nigel. For more information about Retail Assist’s work with Mint Velvet, please visit our website.

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