Worldlink Helps National Apparel Retailer Maintain Sales During COVID-19
1,400 printer installations
600 iPad Configurations
800 mobile POS installations
75 Fixed POS Installations
600 Access Point Installations
300 Wireless Network Redesigns
1 Mini-DC Buildout
275 mPOS Installations
National Specialty Retailer
This national specialty retailer sells music and pop culture-inspired apparel and accessories. In 2015 they launched a spinoff brand, which sells gifts, accessories and merchandise with a give-back approach. With 800+ locations between the two brands, this specialty retailer is one of the largest mall-based retailers in the U.S.
Women’s apparel retailer
This apparel retailer specializes in plus size fashion for women. Founded in the late 2000s, they now have approximately 600 stores nationwide.
The client hired Worldlink Integration Group in 2006. Over the last 14 years, Worldlink Integration has helped them:
Build out processes for new store openings
Support stores from a break-fix perspective to reduce downtime
Bridge the gap between the stores’ IT, construction, store ops and management teams
Build out the new headquarters campus, including cabling, security cameras and network infrastructure
Manage new store build-outs, remodels and relocations
Make necessary technology improvements through upgrades, refreshes and new implementations of store and network systems
Ongoing Services Include:
- Equipment Upgrades
- Network & Hardware Upgrades
- Wireless Access Points
- Printer Upgrades & Installs
- Mobile POS
- Phone Systems
- Cabling and Network Infrastructure
In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the client to shutter their stores across the country.
When stores finally reopened toward the end of summer, the brands had to adapt to strict new capacity restrictions. Before the pandemic, most of the brands’ stores were already limited to 20-30 people. After COVID, store capacity was limited to a small handful of people – employees included.
Many of the company’s stores are located in shopping malls, forcing them to remain closed even longer.
Access Point Installation
2 month project, 600 stores
In August 2019, Worldlink had installed access points in stores across the country and shipped iPads to the stores. At that time, iPads were mainly used for loyalty, looking up products, and helping customers, not necessarily for sales. When COVID-19 hit, these access points became critical to the brand’s ability to support online transactions through BOPIS and ship from store, as well as to continue transactions outside of the store.
The iPads became so vital to their success that they decided to ship another iPad to every store. Worldlink staged and configured the iPads to ensure they were operable out of the box and the stores could begin utilizing them right away.
Mobile POS Installation
3 month project, 800 stores
Worldlink visited all specialty retailer stores earlier in 2020 and installed iPads with a stand and built-in PIN pad. The iPad stand became another checkout lane, allowing employees to ring people up everywhere within the store and reduce line wait times. This allowed locations to bring iPads outside the store and complete transactions for BOPIS and curbside pickup.
Printer Installation (Both Stores)
3 month project, 1400 stores
With new COVID-19 restrictions in place, the brands moved to a BOPIS and curbside pickup model. But they didn’t have an easy way to print receipts or orders. Old printers were connected to registers via USB, meaning the printing had to happen at the cash register.
To make BOPIS and curbside pickup possible, Worldlink went to all 1,400 stores and networked all their printers so they could print remotely from iPads. Worldlink also staged and shipped iPads to 600 apparel stores to facilitate mobile sales.
The brand had furloughed a lot of their internal staff and didn’t have the typical IT bandwidth to help with this project. Worldlink stepped up to take on help desk management and troubleshooting, taking a ton of work and costs off of the client’s plate. Worldlink’s staff also made personal trips to transport the iPads to save the client costs on freight shipping.
2 month project, 300 stores
In the middle of the pandemic, this specialty retailer was struggling to meet sales numbers. Worldlink came up with the idea to rent mall kiosk carts so they could bring high-selling merchandise out onto the mall floor and ring up sales outside the store.
Since Worldlink had already installed mobile POS systems a few months earlier, they were able to move access points closer to the front door and extend the signal. This allowed them to take the mobile POS device out to the kiosk cart and complete shopping transactions remotely.
Some locations weren’t able to secure kiosks right out front of the store, which posed the issue of weak connectivity. In those cases, Worldlink installed a cradle point router to improve connectivity and moved a fixed POS system to the carts.
Mini Distribution Center Buildout
In addition to all of the improvements made inside the existing stores, it also became apparent that online sales were surging. In order to fulfill online orders in a more timely manner in a large market, Worldlink opened a mini-DC (mini distribution center) in an empty retail location.
This gave the business a more centralized DC without taking valuable merchandise space within an existing store for inventory. It also allowed store staff to focus on the customers that are still coming into the store, as opposed to fulfilling online orders.
Worldlink completed each project within 2-3 months, allowing these two brands to maintain sales and avoid slippage due to COVID-19.
Huge accomplishment!!... Thank you for your continued partnership!!
— R.C., Sr. Director IT Retail Support
Access points and Mobile POS devices allowed store personnel to get out from behind the cash register and interact with consumers on the sales floor, leading to higher sales and customer retention
Moving to mall kiosk carts helped brand maintain sales and avoid slippage due to COVID-19
More timely fulfillment of online orders, with multiple options for customers to acquire their purchases
These projects lowered store personnel costs, since employees could be more active and mobile
Future-Proof Your Business With Worldlink
Worldlink Integration is a national provider of technology deployment services with specific industry expertise in the retail, restaurant and grocery sectors. We have the people, technical partners and processes to bring you the best solutions in the industry, whether you’re looking for a straightforward tech implementation or a complete overhaul of your infrastructure.
Learn how Worldlink can support your next technology deployment project.