Northern Ireland-based Spar wholesaler John Henderson is rolling out a new retail solution to its forecourt c-stores.

Henderson, established more than 100 years ago, owns the franchise for Spar, VIVO and VG in Northern Ireland, providing a full service to almost 300 Spar and 170 VG /VIVO stores. Some 150 of these operate as forecourt sites.

The new solution for the forecourt stores combines retail back office systems from Business Computer Projects (BCP) with HTEC’s Hydrapos pos fuel system. It is designed to give forecourt retailers a single solution to effectively manage all aspects of their business.

The system was developed by BCP and HTEC to meet the precise needs of independent and symbol group forecourt retailers, combining the intricacies of fuel retailing with comprehensive c-store retailing.

The Hydrapos front end incorporates a pump controller that links to a full range of fuel pumps for fuel sales, handles sales of all goods within the c-store plus other forecourt services such as car wash and valeting, eliminating the need for separate consoles and the re-keying of fuel sales.

BCP has worked closely with HTEC to build special features – such as age verification – into the front end and to develop a special interface that links seamlessly to the BCP back office system for automated replenishment; stock, pricing and margin control; cash control; ordering; shelf-edge label production, electronic auditing; sales and performance reporting.

The solution is being implemented initially at some forecourt sites in Henderson’s 40-strong estate of company-owned stores – the Andrew Millar chain. The first implementation went live in April at Hardford Link near Belfast, followed by a second in October, three in November/December and another three scheduled for this month.

The implementations span a range of fuel suppliers – BP, Shell, Texaco – and include the UK’s largest forecourt c-store at Ranfurly, near Belfast, which has seven checkout lanes.

Neil Granleese, retail technologies manager at Henderson’s, said:

“The combination of a good fuel POS and a back office system with which the business is already familiar is just right for our business at this time.

“Roll-out of the system to our own stores is going very smoothly and to plan. New developments are coming on line, including fuel reporting, non-manned tills and, essential for rolling out to our independent stores, credit accounts. We’re hoping to pilot this early in 2004.”

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