Virgin Media’s first own-fascia stores are running hosted EPoS technology to underpin the retailer’s plans for expansion.

Virgin Media operates in more ‘shops-within-shops’ in Virgin Megastores nationwide. After its acquisition by NTL Telewest last year, it now has five standalone stores as part of a strategy to create a nationwide mobile phone and services chain.

Virgin Media’s new distribution strategy and the requirement to support chip and PIN processing prompted an evaluation of its incumbent EPoS system. Delivered as an application service provider (ASP) service over a virtual private network (VPN), EPoS software from vendor Cybertill has reduced the cost, risk and management overheads of traditional EPoS systems.

Ian Villalard, Virgin Media operations manager was responsible for the EPoS software selection. He said: “Cybertill ticked all our boxes…its software is innovative, cost-competitive and scalable.”

Virgin Media has customised its Cybertill implementation to include chip and PIN implementation and integration with the retailer’s Strategix stock management system. It has also customised the point-of-sale look and feel to display its trademark brand values and appeal to the retailer’s predominantly young target market.

The ease of reporting was also a differentiator for Virgin Media. Villalard said: “One of our main business drivers was single reporting that includes our ‘Red Awards’ scheme. Cybertill enables us to log Red rewards against transactions, and gain real visibility of sales success through a single, easy-to-use reporting tool.

“We can not only analyse who buys what and when, we can proactively market our services to them and build their loyalty to the Virgin Media brand.”

The roll out of own-fascia stores extends the retailer’s services to both pre-pay and contract services, enabling it to market its parent’s four-part offer of mobile and fixed line telephony, TV and broadband services. The company plans to open about another dozen stores during 2007.