Marks & Spencer signs up IBM for in-store systems refresh

Marks & Spencer has signed a three-year systems integration contract with IBM to refresh its in-store technology and systems.

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Marks & Spencer has signed a three-year systems integration contract with IBM to refresh its in-store technology and systems.

Under the deal, IBM will project-manage the deployment of the key areas of M&S’s in-store systems across its UK and Ireland store estate. This will include the implementation of the Beanstore point-of-sale application from software supplier –and IBM business partner – PCMS.

“This investment in our store systems is an important part of our store modernisation programme, which is designed to improve the overall shopping experience for our customers, including better and faster service at the till point.” said Darrell Stein, the retailer’s IT director.

The move is just the latest from M&S as it engages in a technology refresh programme which will see it spend around £500m over three years on its supply chain and supporting IT systems.

In May M&S chief executive Stuart Rose said the retailer would be spending £150m this year revamping its IT systems, with the replacement of its ageing tills and point-of-sale terminals high on the agenda. Similar levels of spending are also slated for 2008 and 2009.

M&S first revealed back in April that it was planning to replace its existing Epos system with PCMS’s Beanstore application.

It said then it would roll out Beanstore to all its stores by 2010, with testing on the new application due to be completed by the end of this year.

M&S is also a world pioneer in the use of radio frequency identification tags on individual in-store items, being the largest retail user of such tagging in the world. The retailer is currently expanding its tagging of clothing items to 120 stores.

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