Empire Cinemas is close to completing a point-of-sale technology refresh programme which has seen new PC-based touchscreens from J2 Retail Systems (J2) installed across the firm’s 17-venue, 142-screen estate.
The cinema chain was created in 2005 and subsequently acquired cinemas from the merged businesses of Odeon and UCI, and Cineworld and UGC.
IT director Julian Timm said the roll-out of a single Epos system was a crucial project for the chain, since its acquisitions meant it was using four different operating systems at one point.
“This was a real management challenge,” said Timm. “It was clear that we needed to consolidate our technology and support to just one supplier in order to rationalise business processes and reduce ongoing support costs.”
J2 was chosen in part because it offering a three-year rather than 12-month warranty, said Timm.
Empire Cinemas is rolling out J2’s latest model, the 560, which is being used by all staff and at self-service kiosks in each cinema lobby for customers to use.
“We now have a single piece of equipment as standard across the estate, and it is embedded within ticketing booths, concessions and at every point-of-sale,” said Timm, who added that selling tickets and concession items from a single terminal had boosted customer spending. And he said that since tickets could be sold at concession counters it made it possible at quiet times to close box offices to save on staffing costs.
The Epos system supports Chip-and-Pin processing, which was previously only accepted in the box offices, thereby helping cut the cinema chain’s exposure to card fraud.