Radstock Co-op shop interior

The Radstock Co-operative Society has begun using a cloud-based retail management system to give it up-to-the second sales, stock and cash information across all its stores.

The system will also allow the West Country retailer to start click & collect services and deliver personalised loyalty vouchers and promotions for its members, as well as generate smart couponing and e-receipts.

“As with many retailers, we were operating multiple retail systems, platforms and technologies,” said Radstock CEO Don Morris. “We needed to bring in a proven retail management solution which would simplify this, and provide us with a singular view of our business. 

“As our customers are the very heart of our business, we are also excited about bringing them the very latest in truly personalised promotions, couponing and loyalty offers.”

The ‘real-time’ retail management system, called ‘ab-initio’, comes from Dublin-based technology company Celtech.

“We are delighted to partner with such a progressive and customer-focused convenience retailer whose ambitions will truly exploit the opportunity that ab-initio brings,” Celtech’s CEO Darragh Fanning said.

Ab-initio is Latin for ‘from the beginning’, and reflects the system’s aims of removing all restraints and barriers to what a retailer wants to do.

“It gives insight into what is happening in your business as it is happening,” said Fanning. “So, if a problem is developing, in that nano-second you can see it happening and you can react to it instantly.

“For example, if you don’t know your stock at any moment in time, how can you do click & collect or deliveries to your customers?”

The ‘ab-initio’ technology is cloud-based, requiring no in-house server, third party licences or databases. It uses a secure network dedicated to the retailer.

Key to its operation is its ability to provide one real-time view across the sales, stock and cash of an entire business.

In Radstock’s case, this includes 14 convenience stores and a supermarket based in and around Somerset.