Welcome Convenience Store in Southampton Scoops Best Use of Technology Award

The innovative Welcome convenience store on Commercial Road, Southampton has been crowned as one of the best in the trade by winning the Convenience Retail Awards 2016’s ‘Best Use of Technology’ status.

The Welcome convenience store, a franchise of The Southern Co-operative, displays media screens in store to provide customers with updates on the local transport links, uses ‘cloud’ based technology to keep the store running efficiently, and employs a wealth of energy efficient measures to protect the environment, to name just some of the technology in the Southampton store.

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Richard Inglis (right) presented with his award at the Convenience Retail Awards 2016 by event sponsor from The Retail Data Partnership.

Richard Inglis, owner of Parkview Retail Ltd who runs the Welcome store said: “We were up against some very tough competition at the Awards, so we weren’t too confident about winning. However, we were pleasantly surprised when we heard our store name called as the winner of ‘Best Use of Technology’. We have been developing the business for many years and this award really represents all the hard work my colleagues and I have put into the store.”

Customers benefit from the store’s free wif-fi, media screens displaying the latest offers and local transport updates – including information for Southampton Central train station opposite and Southampton port nearby – whilst residents of the 115 flats across the road are exclusively able to use the store to top up their utilities.

Richard’s award-winning technology allows him to manage all of the store’s operations every minute of the day from his mobile phone, including colleague payroll and holidays, switching chillers on and off or changing their operating temperature, view the store’s CCTV, change the timers for store lighting and view the store’s sales, all at a click of a button.

Technology within the store has also allowed for Richard’s colleagues to clock in and out, access all their work schedules, holidays, hours worked and rate of pay all from a tablet in the back office. The system even sends colleagues a SMS text reminder of their next shift!

The store also operates energy efficiency measures such as LED lighting, chiller doors, motion sensors, coldroom panels, chiller timers and voltage optimisation.

Mike Fitton, Franchise Development Manager for The Southern Co-operative said: “I am over the moon that the Co-op Welcome Frobisher store has won the Convenience Retail Award for Best Use of Technology. This store really is paving the future for convenience and the technology Richard uses in his store not only helps him to save time and energy, but increases customer and colleague satisfaction too.”

The prestigious national Convenience Retail Awards 2016 are run by Convenience Store and The Grocer magazines. The Awards were presented at an exclusive black-tie event in London on 17th March 2016.