EPOS refresh aids Waitrose growth

Waitrose, the supermarket division of the John Lewis Partnership, has revealed details of a project to refresh its entire electronic point-of-sale (EPOS) estate.

The retailer completed the update of the EPOS systems used in its 187 UK stores at the end of last year. But it has revealed for the first time this week details of the refresh, using one till hardware supplier along with other specialist vendor offerings.

Waitrose selected Wincor Nixdorf as its single-source till hardware supplier, deploying its Beetle tills as the foundation for an EPOS system that will enable it to add new functionality in support of future customer service initiatives.

Sally Hodgson, Waitrose EPOS development manager said: "We wanted a long-term relationship with a single supplier that could actively help Waitrose develop its business systems. It became clear that Wincor Nixdorf offered a very good commercial fit with Waitrose and provided the key service and support elements and nationwide coverage."

In addition, the new EPOS estate includes software from PCMS, cash drawer units from Cashbases, Epson printers, scanner and scales units from Datalogic, and chip and PIN readers from Trintech (now Verifone).

The EPOS refresh was also key to eliminating issues the supermarket chain experienced with accepting chip and PIN-authorised payments a couple of years ago. Technical problems caused it to suspend its chip-and-PIN system in December 2005, temporarily leaving the company liable for fraudulent transactions on PIN-enabled cards.

In confirming it had been able to resolve the issues in time for the Valentine's Day chip and PIN deadline a few months later, it revealed the problems had centred on an interim chip-and-PIN system bolted onto its legacy till infrastructure in advance of the planned EPOS overhaul, which began later that year and was completed in December 2007.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.