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ADVERTORIAL 35


THE HIGH STREET T


he venerable British High Street is in decline. A shocking 14.3% of retail units in the UK were empty at the end of 2011, with 30% unoccupied in some areas such as Stockport, according to the Local Data Company. The Department For Business Innovation & Skills last December published its Understanding High Street Performance research on the state of the UK High Street, showing that a third are ‘degenerating or failing’. The same report predicted that, by 2014, less than 40% of retail spending would be on the High Street, losing out to out-of-town retail locations and the internet. So is it too late for the High Street? Dr Guy Boxall, senior product marketing manager at Casio Electronics argues no: “The High Street as we know it has to change and adapt, but now is a good time for retailers to restore the High Street to its former position as a premier shopping destination by making a positive difference to the overall shopping experience.” Some industry bodies and experts have advocated


more market days, free town centre parking, a reduction in trading regulations and changes in local planning to reverse the decline. There is even evidence available to support the growth of certain types of retail establishments on the High Street. In fact, charity shops, small convenience stores, pharmacists, food specialists, stationery shops and, to some extent, fashion retail, are all experiencing some levels of High Street recovery. So it’s not all bad news, but Boxall asked how can these and other shops expand? “At Casio, we believe some of this change needs to happen at the electronic point of sale (EPoS), altering the way retailers serve and interact with customers,” he said. “Although internet retailing has many benefi ts, it lacks one thing: personal interaction – good old-fashioned customer service.” The traditional EPoS terminal has hardly changed in


30 years, but consumer habits have moved on. Casio Electronics is looking very carefully at the overall High Street customer experience and how EPoS systems can be improved. The launch of Casio’s new Android platform VX-100 EPoS terminal, together with further product releases during 2012, makes it an exciting time for retail. Some of Casio’s new product concepts will be on show at the Retail Business Technology Expo at London Earls Court, 13 and 14 March. By adopting the Android operating system, Casio


said its VX-100 EPoS solution has a low cost of entry, no expensive licensing fees, a powerful and mature


Android is a trademark of Google Inc. MARCH/APRIL 2012 RETAIL TECHNOLOGY


FIGHTS BACK Casio’s new Android™ EPoS platform helps retailers reduce costs and improve customer engagement


software architecture, and all development tools are available free of charge. Dr Boxall added: “It’s now time for the High Street to fi ght back and intelligent retailing can make a difference to how we serve – and how we keep – our customers.” Moreover, by working closely with a growing list of Android software application partners, Casio said it will make it easier for retailers to improve customer service by offering innovative apps and services to manage stock more carefully, facilitate links to websites, handle Payment Card Industry (PCI) and Payment Application (PA) Data security Standard (DSS) approved card payments and to provide paperless receipts to smartphones or email addresses. Other apps being developed for the Casio Android EPoS system include programs to distribute and redeem mobile coupons and gift vouchers, and connecting the terminal to social media channels like Twitter and Facebook. In addition to these innovations, Casio will work with its partners to provide a workable payment structure, from consistent monthly payments to a convenient pay-as-you-go basis. The fi ght has already started, and that by taking advantage of the increasing innovation available today and in the future via the Casio Android platform, the High Street has every chance of making a comeback and winning back many more consumers.


It’s now time for the High Street to fi ght back and intelligent retailing can make a difference to how we serve – and how we keep – our customers


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