London, 17th February 2012 – Clarks, the leading footwear specialist, today announces it has chosen Getronics in a multi–million euro deal to provide IT hardware support and maintenance across its 633 UK branches. The five–year contract is a continuation of the two firms’ existing relationship and will see Getronics responsible for ongoing support, maintenance and break–fix services for hardware, such as store EPOS systems and Clarks’ iconic 3D foot gauge. As part of the new deal, Getronics will also manage a store-wide printer refresh and provide extended IT support services into Europe as Clarks embarks on its plans for international expansion.
Maintaining its high level of customer service is of paramount importance to Clarks. With this comes the expectation for technology to work seamlessly. When Clarks recently found itself facing the enviable problem of its outlets growing thanks to increased footfall, the company realised the additional pressure on its store systems would need to be addressed with more extensive technical support and expertise. This included Clarks’ unique children’s 3D foot gauge, which is often one of the first experiences of a Clarks customer. Having this machinery work continuously and readily is critical to the business. This new deal will see Getronics provide a dedicated response centre responsible for IT help desk support for Clarks retail staff, as well as provide a break-fix service for equipment, such as the 3D foot gauge, through dedicated field workers.
“Getronics has proven time and again to have the most wide–ranging skills set and dedication needed to deliver the service we expect. We know we’re not an easy customer – we have intricate and complicated in–store technology, high standards and are, at times, particularly fussy – all in the name of improving the customer experience. Having Getronics as our IT partner ensures the technology in our stores runs effortlessly and delivers on our customer strategy,” says Alistair Smith, Store Systems Manager at Clarks.
The new solution will also see Getronics provide a similar IT support model within Clarks’ flagship store in Germany. There is also scope for this strategy to be replicated across other countries, where appropriate, as the business expands and looks to provide the same IT experience across its other flagship stores.
As well as break–fix and maintenance services, Getronics will also manage a store–wide printer refresh. Managing the many logistical problems of deploying new technology in stores as far apart as Lands End to Inverness, Getronics will deploy laser printers across 600 stores. With Getronics’ retail experience, this refresh will involve minimal impact with many of the printer transitions being completed in under 30 minutes in order to ensure staff can operate as normal and that there is no distraction to the customer.
Smith, comments: “As a result of the challenges we face, outsourcing more services to Getronics is a fantastic solution. We have a long–standing relationship with Getronics, so experience told us that we would be met with a solutions business that understood our needs, and could deliver great results while we continued to focus on the growth and expansion of Clarks. We now have the reliability and assurance that our systems will work, as they are being managed by a fantastic team who act as an extension to our company.”
Mark Cook, CEO of Getronics says: “Clarks is a great business to work with – its heritage makes it one of UK and Ireland’s most iconic high-street brands, yet its vision and forward thinking ensures Clarks remains cutting-edge. These values are reflected in the company’s attitudes towards in-store technology and we’re delighted to be their chosen partner to provide the high-performance technology required to ensure customers receive a seamless experience when visiting Clarks.”
Clarks are the world’s number one name in everyday footwear. There are 1400 Clarks’ stores worldwide, 450 of which are operated under franchise, making them the largest everyday shoe retailer in the world. Clarks’ Head Office is based in Street in Somerset. They have stores in Europe, the United States and the Far East. Clarks, who have been in business since 1825, both design and manufacture shoes. They sell 50 million pairs annually. In 2010, Clarks’ profits exceeded £100 Million, with sales of nearly £1.3 billion.