In March 2006 Pier 1 imports, a top American home furnishings retailer, sold its England-based business “The Pier” to Lagerinn ehf., an Icelandic group. Lagerinn went on to own, operate, and grow the group to 32 stores and 17 concessions in the UK, sourcing and selling distinctive furniture and household accessories. It had a small IT department: one head of IT and a staff of nine people. Lean was the word!
The British operation used an older but cost-effective POS system and was constantly looking to leverage its existing IT infrastructure. They asked LAVA to design a unit that would work with their existing front-end equipment from Toshiba TEC, but that also would integrate with door sensors and software to detect and count customers entering the stores. As complications, some stores had multiple doors and the data had to be accumulated internally on the devices before being centralized. LAVA modified one of our existing Ethernet-to-serial device servers to work with the dry contact sensors already installed in “The Pier” stores. LAVA first tested the device in our head office, then piloted the system in several UK stores, and finally worked with a local system integrator – Readycrest Ltd. – to roll out the system throughout the chain.