Toy Adventures at Byls Bridge in Centurion has implemented Pricer electronic shelf labels (ESLs) from XON Retail Solutions to improve supply chain management, improve sales and marketing in the store, and both empower and reduce the burden on employees.
Gerhard Korf, owner of Toy Adventures, seeks to exploit the potential supply chain efficiencies and sales insights offered by the Pricer system to grow his business as opposed to focusing on cost saving benefits.
“Pricer puts miniature battery operated computers next to each and every product in my store, which is a powerful opportunity,” he says. “My father used to say: “Success is where preparation and opportunity meet”. The Pricer system ensures my store is always prepared for customers. I can quickly ensure good stock distribution between my three stores, which keeps product in front of customers, improve my rates of sale, empower my employees to be more involved in sales and marketing activities, better understand marketing efforts I undertake and many more benefits.”
“Not having stock for customers is the worst sin a retailer can commit,” says Korf. “But toy stores don’t sell toys like a retailer sells 2l Coke – stock levels are typically a lot lower than the food retail environment. I may have 30 to 60 units of a toy spread between my three stores. If all the units are in one store I can’t sell them to customers at my other stores. Normal stock systems will tell me what stock should exist but not exactly where it is. By putting the computer right next to the product and linking the two I always know where product is and how much of it is actually there.”
He says the Pricer system is so easy to use even his most junior person can check stock levels and other information immediately. Korf’s floor employees can interrogate prices with a remote control to divulge numerous parcels of information. These include rate of sale, last order date, last order size, dates of sale and so on. That information will help them to understand the pattern of sales of individual toys and give them insights into product positioning in the store.
“My floor employees are much more empowered now to facilitate the sales process,” he says. “They can instantly see, for example, a product on special isn’t selling and figure out why by interrogating the label, solve the problem, and the product can begin to sell properly.”
Stock take is another process the Pricer system facilitates at Toy Adventures. “The old manual method sees a few office PCs available for stock take and all my floor employees. It takes time and it’s error prone. Now 6 000 computers take care of it.”
Ordering can be an onerous task since two of Korf’s 40 employees place orders for all 6 000 stock keeping units (SKUs) in his Centurion store. When placing orders they need all the important and relevant information to hand, such as rates of sale, stock on hand, and more. Without Pricer people must gather information themselves. Pricer automates delivery of necessary information.
“The Pricer labels cannot be moved once fixed to shelves so they are always visible,” says Minesh Manga, director at XON Retail. “They also consistently correlate with till prices. People can easily remove or move paper price tags from shelves but the secure bracket fixes Pricer labels to shelves prohibits removal.”
“We don’t want to attach prices to the toys because they are often gifts and it looks messy when you try to remove a price,” says Korf. “The prices also change occasionally so it becomes wasteful and time consuming to attach prices to toys. This system is far better.”
Toy Adventures includes two additional stores in Irene Village Mall and Grove Mall. Korf says Byls Bridge is his biggest store but the Grove Mall store is moving to a much larger store in the centre. He plans to introduce Pricer to that store at the time of its move and expects to deploy the system to his Irene Village Mall store around the middle of the year.