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Stratford shopping centre plays host to new communications equipment benefitting retailers

CST_Westfield_Stratford_CityStratford shopping centre plays host to new communications equipment benefitting retailers


Edgware-based communications specialist Call Systems Technology (CST) has revealed it is working with many of the top brands involved at the Westfield Stratford City shopping centre in West London, including John Lewis, Mothercare, Dorothy Perkins and Burton.


The Westfield John Lewis store is the first in the UK using a new digital radio that offers multi-channel and multi-group controls, according to Bruce McNair, sales director at CST.


“It’s a very flexible solution that radically improves communications between business protection teams as well as among departments and departmental managers,” he stated.


“Being a new build, Westfield is a great opportunity for businesses to implement new technologies that will increase staff effectiveness and enhance their business operations,” McNair added.


Exploiting ‘hands-free’ convenience


In Mothercare, CST has supplied Quail Digital hands-free headsets. “The Quail Digital system improves communications between all team members, including stock room, floor staff and managers,” McNair continued.


“It delivers multiple benefits – for example, several hours can be saved each week because stock checking is easier; customer service is better and faster and the headsets also improve communication in security incidents, reducing shrinkage.”


The clarity of the HD signal ensures that messages get heard, no matter how noisy the store, and the lightweight, robust headset is unobtrusive, comfortable to wear and easy to use, according to the company. And the headsets operate in VOX, talk-lock and push-to-talk modes as standard, so all users can be constantly in touch.


Two retailers at Westfield are also using CST call buttons in their changing rooms so customers can summon a member of staff. The buttons link directly to pagers worn by staff enabling swift and discreet customer service.


“This is a simple system with a big impact. It not only speeds up service but also reduces labour costs as changing room staff can serve elsewhere yet remain contactable by the changing room user. Additionally, it reduces customer queuing. Sales have also increased, because this reduces walkaways,” added McNair.


Cutting emergency call costs


Another innovative installation at one Westfield retailer is CST’s AlarmCall, which is designed to solve the issue of false fire alarms that lead to unnecessary store evacuations. The system connects directly to the site’s fire alarm. In the event of an alarm triggering, AlarmCall immediately notifies the store’s fire team, via pagers, telling them the exact location of the relevant sensor. Team members can then quickly check and, if is found to be false, stand down the alarm before the automatic fire service call-out.


“False fire alarm evacuations can cost stores tens of thousands of pounds in lost sales, not to mention safety issues and inconvenience to customers. AlarmCall was developed in conjunction with Manchester Fire Service and provides a safe, sure solution,” McNair concluded.


CST will be exhibiting at the Retail Technology Business Expo on 13 and 14 March in Earl’s Court, London.