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its old UK mainframe system. Michael Truluck, chief executive of Redcats in the UK,


ome shopping giant Redcats has taken advantage of an opportunity to implement a more flexible software system for managing customer payments after retiring

whose businesses include La Redoute,Vertbaudet, Daxon, OneStopPlus and Ellos, spoke exclusively to Retail Technology about the implementation. “I used to be finance director until January of this year, so I’ve had direct contact with the decision to take on Sopra Group’s Instalment Credit Suite [ICS],” he explained. He said financial services have always been a core element

of the business, where even its early days as Empire Stores it offered credit. “It is intrinsically part of our business model, he added. “My finance background gives me a strong view of the commercial side of the business and what kind of offers there are for customers, as well as secondary offers that are introductory or promote sales in other departments, like accessories and homeware.” Redcats felt the ability to adapt its payment options more dynamically would give the business an additional competitive edge. With the customisable and rules-driven Sopra ICS system, it will now be able to launch new brands and implement new credit strategies and credit offers more quickly. “The dynamism we could choose to implement in future

would, for example, allow us to offer different APRs [annual percentage rate] to different customers based on different risk levels,” Truluck said. “Theoretically, this could mean we can take more customer applications with a higher risk profile that we might currently have to turn down.” Redcats also expects its financial services, payment collection and risk team to improve service and strategies more efficiently through the use of the new graphically driven screens and streamlined processes. Truluck reported that the company was in the final stages of user acceptance testing (UAT). “We’ve done a considerable amount of UAT testing and are on phase three now. But, from a customer point of view, it will be as it was before.” He continued: “It gives more control and information to the

users. With the green screens, they had to go through multiple layers of information. Now they’ll be able to see much of that information upfront. And there’s the ability to dynamically change that.”

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012 RETAIL TECHNOLOGY Redcats Group hopes to extend the benefits of ICS to

other European country operations once a successful UK roll out has been achieved. “The mainframe we had was very reliable,” Truluck added.

“The move was more due to the cost and inefficiencies of running two systems and the fact that we needed something more dynamic and flexible. We’d already moved the other two core parts of our business – the CRM [customer relationship management] and warehouse information management systems – to an in-house system used throughout Europe. Globally, it is the right thing for the business for these systems to be integrated. Ultimately it’s better for our users and customers.”

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