Delivering a first-class retail experience for visitors to its five sites in South England is a constant challenge for Haskins Garden Centres. It offers 4.4 million customers a year some of the largest destination garden centres in the UK. Besides a comprehensive range of garden products, Haskins offers customers additional home, leisure and life-style products, events and high-quality restaurants. This aims to make visits more enjoyable and fulfilling for customers, so they stay longer. It is critical that Haskins provides a safe and enjoyable experience, but also maximises buying opportunities from a customer visit.
Risks & Challenges
A £15-million rebuild of its Snowhill site in West Sussex was a chance for Haskins to improve security and retail video technology. Retail sites like the Haskins destination centres are difficult to monitor because of multiple product and Point-of-Sale areas. Some of these were not covered by the existing system. Images were stored on a DVR device, but playback was “painful”, unintuitive and poor quality. Also, the system lacked retail operation monitoring and analysis.
The new system had to be easy to manage and use especially for non-technical staff. New equipment needed to be installed discretely and not intrude on the customer experience. It also had to blend in with the stylised architectural design of the new buildings and Haskins’ brand image of a modern, light and open retail environment.
One of the main reasons for choosing Switchnet Systems and MOBOTIX was to use the solution, not just for security, but also to monitor, analyse and help improve retail operations and customer experience.
Solutions & Benefits
After a market review, Haskins opted for an intelligent retail video solution from MOBOTIX installed by MOBOTIX Gold Partner Switchnet Systems. The solution comprises 46 MOBOTIX standard and hemispheric cameras located across the eight-acre site in retail, restaurant and warehouse areas and outside in plant displays, the car park and site entrances. Competitive quotes suggested 90 devices were needed. As an IP-based solution, it integrated seamlessly with the IT infrastructure, so cabling and complex installation costs were reduced.
The MOBOTIX technology can track a customer journey across the site and then produce a single video of that journey from using multiple cameras. This combined with heatmaps and footfall counting helps the buying department improve store layout and product placement. John Collacott, Systems Analyst, Haskins Garden Centres says, “The new solution at Snowhill gives us the peace of mind that it will be in place for several years to come with minimal extra investment“.
The solution at Snowhill is a strategic shift that transforms CCTV from a security tool to a business asset for managing the entire retail environment. Already, additional MOBOTIX devices have been deployed at another site. Now Haskins is looking at the feasibility of replacing existing systems at other sites with the MOBOTIX and Switchnet Systems solution as they reach end of life. Scalability and centralised management mean enterprise-wide roll out will be quick, simple and cost effective. Collacott adds, “The benefit of the solution is ease of installation, ease of scalability and ease of use for staff.”