British menswear brand Steel and Jelly, previously available only through selected retail partners, has opened its first flagship store in Birmingham’s new Grand Central shopping centre. Steel and Jelly has selected the Futura EPOS and retail management system with the goal of supporting future expansion at key shopping destinations and to guarantee real time integration in-store and online.
Steel and Jelly, which is transitioning its business from a wholesale model to go direct to customers, expects to open at least two more outlets this year, potentially in Bristol and London, to complement its growing online business. The company selected Futura “as a more in depth and complete solution compared to many other EPOS offerings” and one that is fully scalable - more than capable of supporting the brand’s expansion plans.
Nishil Thakrar for Steel and Jelly explains: “Moving on to the high street for the first time we required a retail management and EPOS solution that would scale up easily, and more importantly, deliver access to the level of information we need to drive accurate decision making to take the business forward. We did our research. For a young fashion brand there are plenty of EPOS solutions out there, but none has the depth, quality and completeness that Futura offers.”
“Supporting accurate buying and merchandise planning from day one, rather than gut feel, was crucial. We need to make sure that stock is always working for us. All the detail is there in a format we can quickly use. We won’t be waiting on store managers to alert us when stock is low. We have a complete, live picture of the business,” Thakrar added.
Steel and Jelly is starting out with the core Futura head office and EPOS system and the focus for this new dynamic brand, which blends contemporary and traditional British design, is on the basics of store management, merchandising and stock control. Other modules will be added over time.
Customer data capture and promotions are another important area. Already the store is offering a simple loyalty card linked to the customer record, but in time they expect to upgrade to a full points-based system, seamlessly operated in-store or online.
“Again, other systems didn’t offer the flexibility we were looking for in terms of how we put promotions together,” says Nishil Thakrar. “We want to be able to bundle different product lines, for example chinos, shoes and accessories, to promote a complete look. We are already thinking about a different approach and Futura has the flexibility we need. Other systems had too many constraints.”
Integration work with the brand’s ecommerce platform is currently underway and is made considerably easier by Futura’s Web Services API (Application Programming Interface). A complete and stable IT solution for third party developers, it covers real time communication of stock and item information, customer creation and search, order creation and payments, loyalty points, plus click and collect, everything to deliver an effective omni-channel architecture instore and online.
“To date the experience has been excellent,” Thakrar concludes. “Just seven weeks from order to go live date and support throughout has been excellent.”
Nishil Thakrar for Steel and Jelly