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Halfords shakes up store IT maintenance

By Retail Technology | Wednesday April 9 2014

New deal signifies retailer's move to position IT as an enabler for the business, putting IT supplier in the driving seat of its store IT estate

Halfords, the UK's largest retailer of car maintenance, cycling and touring products, has today announced its selection of Fujitsu to provide ongoing store IT maintenance and support.

The three-year contract covers the retailer’s 486 stores across the UK and Ireland and has been designed to support Halfords’ wider business objective of IT becoming an enabler for future growth.
Halfords has set a three-year plan in place that will see it transform its IT business in line with its people, processes, partners and technology by 2017. It is also currently reviewing its IT suppliers with an aim to significantly reduce to a smaller set of strategic relationships. 

Delivering great store service

Following a competitive tender it chose Fujitsu to manage and maintain its IT hardware within the UK and Ireland stores.
“Providing a strong IT maintenance service to our colleagues instore enables them to deliver great service to our customers,” stated Anna Barsby, Halfords chief information officer (CIO). 

“Fujitsu was a natural choice, as a partner with tried and tested credentials which would strive to help us continuously improve the way we run our business. Beyond this contract, we’re talking to Fujitsu about a number of future projects and are looking forward to welcoming them on board as one of our strategic partners.”
Given the retailer’s stated strategy, Barsby also told “We were keen to have a provider who had a breadth of capability and would work with us long term to both improve quality of service to our stores and also drive down cost.”

Wider strategic IT transformation

Barsby also confirmed the company was also currently looking at its data centre hosting, network design and provision and end-user computing strategy.

In terms of IT supported capabilities now the new maintenance provision is in place that would not otherwise have possible, the Halfords CIO added: “We have already added additional services to the contract, for example supporting store laptops that were rolled out over the Christmas period and tablets that are now being rolled out to stores. Fujitsu are also helping us install shop refits including our new concept stores.”

The new Fujitsu partnership replaces the retailer’s previous contract with IT service specialists Barron McCann.

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