Convenience Store Cultivates Customers, Boosts Profits with Computerized POS System

Posted May 18, 2010

Star TSP100A woman rushes into a convenience store, looking for a loaf of her favorite brand of bread, one dozen eggs and a can of the ground coffee her husband likes best. She locates the items right away and brings them to the cashier, who quickly scans and bags them. In less than five minutes, she is out the door and on her way home.

Today, scenarios like this are the regular order of business for Bobby Patel, owner of three ABC Convenience Store locations in Northwest Georgia. But not long ago, things were quite different. Because the stores used traditional cash registers, clerks were unable to check the cost of merchandise that was not clearly marked with a price. Long lines would form while cashiers determined what they should charge for unmarked items, causing frequent frustration on customers’ part. A slow dot matrix receipt printer also contributed to delays at the cash registers, while a lack of inventory management capability made it difficult for Patel to formulate accurate orders for his vendors.

For help, Patel turned to a VAR that specializes in equipping small businesses with high-caliber POS hardware and software at affordable prices. After a careful evaluation, the VAR put together a solution for each store that comprises Cash Register Express Pro version 12.0 POS software from pcAmerica, running on an HP RP3000 PC; plus a Star Micronics TSP100 futurePRNT receipt printer, with an auto-cutter feature. Other components of the solution include a Motorola LS9208 omni-directional laser bar code scanner; an Elo 1515L touchscreen; an HP cash drawer, keyboard, and mouse; and a Logic Controls LD9000 pole display.

With the technology in place, inefficiencies at the point of sale have become a thing of the past. Rather than asking customers to wait while they search for prices, clerks simply scan the bar code on each item at the point of sale. Receipts are generated by the printers at a rate of 22RPM (receipts per minute); pretty fast, considering convenience stores handle a few hundred customers per day. Also, this particular printer has its power supply embedded and is provided with accessories, thus allowing it to be mounted either vertically or on the wall to reduce its footprint to a minimum. “The stores are definitely more convenient and pleasant places to shop; no more long lines mean happier customers,” Patel said.

Meanwhile, the POS software tracks all inventory, affording Patel on-demand access to information about which products are selling, which merchandise needs to be replenished and which items should be removed from the shelves. He can also keep a close watch on daily sales totals. “My profit margin is much higher now as a result,” Patel noted. “And when I create orders for vendors, I know I am ordering the merchandise customers want and in the right quantities, not items that are just going to sit on the shelves.”

Patel also leverages the TSP100 printer’s futurePRNT capability to add special promotional coupons to customers’ POS receipts. Profits garnered by using this strategy should lead to complete payback on all three printers, within a few short months; “all we need is one customer per store per week to redeem a coupon in order to get to this level,” Patel observed.

He added that installing the point of sale system was a simple, straightforward process. Patel also enjoys continued access to technical support from pcAmerica and Star Micronics. “Computerizing has been a great move for ABC,” the retailer concluded.

Filed under: Case Studies