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National retailers switch on to North East tech
Enspire PIC

Pictured (L-R): Jamie Ollivere, Director RTC North and Steve Wheaton, Managing Director Enspire

Retail technology designed by a North East firm is being rolled out in stores across the UK and is attracting interest from several major brands.

Northumberland design agency Enspire recently signed a deal with toy maker Leapfrog Toys to install its ‘personal shopper’ system into 60 Smyths and Toys R Us stores.

The ENPOS system incorporates a digital display unit which enables customers to look for and find out more about particular product ranges, such as Leapfrog’s educational toys.

This data is recorded and also available via a live feed, to help shape future product development and gauge demand for existing and new items. It also provides a cost-effective way of monitoring whether goods are being stocked in line with consumer demand.

Following its success with Leapfrog, Enspire is now in talks with a number of other blue chip brands – including Halfords and technology firm TomTom - with a view to rolling the system out further. 

Steve Wheaton, who runs Enspire with his wife Jo, said: “The system has been hugely beneficial to Leapfrog in helping it to identify gaps in its product range and plan for the future, by analysing real customer data from multiple regions.

“We expect to take the system into many more stores this year, as other retailers and product makers realise how invaluable its customer insights are.

“Digital display units in shops usually do little more than allow customers to search for products. By recording and interrogating customer data, our system could revolutionise how in-store technology is used. We are also working on applying it to other sectors, including healthcare.”

Enspire’s development of ENPOS was backed with a grant from the Designing Better Business programme delivered  by RTC North, which helps to commercialise new products and services. 

RTC director Jamie Ollivere said: “Enspire’s technology has vast potential and could be a game-changer in retail and, perhaps, other industries going forward. Brands are continually looking for ways to get closer to their customers and gain a deeper insight into their demands. The company has found an innovative way of doing this cost-effectively, in real-time. We look forward to monitoring its success in the future.” 

Steve Wheaton, whose career highlights include designing the brand logo of outdoor clothing giant Berghaus, set up Enspire 22 years ago.

The agency, employing seven people at its Stocksfield base, lists Lego, Barbour, chocolate brand Galaxy and Primula cheese among its clients. For more information visit www.enspire.uk.com.

Enspire accessed the RTC’s ‘Designing Better Business’ programme, receiving grant funding and support in the design and development of the product. Designing Better Business is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

May 22, 2017

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