Bakery retailer Greggs has selected touchscreen computer specialist firm J2 Retail Systems to supply EPOS hardware into its Greggs and Bakers Oven stores. The contract – the result of a period of negotiation between J2 and Greggs to produce an embedded system – will initially see the installation of J2 550 integrated touchscreen terminals into 300 stores. On completion of this roll-out, J2 will be the primary hardware provider in the gradual replacement of the whole Greggs estate, which covers over 1,100 Greggs and over 200 Bakers Oven shops.

J2 used Greggs’ own application, the Linux Red Hat operating system, to develop a thin client hardware solution, which can be pole-mounted to maximise the space available for customer service. The application uses flashcard technology with no need for a hard drive.

Also, in consideration of the harsh temperature, humidity and air quality in the bakery industry, the J2 550 range of terminals has been designed around a VIA chip set, which does not require a cooling fan. “With around 5 million quick-sale customers every week, we need our EPOS till system to withstand a great deal of use, while providing reliable networking functionality for our back office systems,” says Greggs group IT manager Rory McDougal.

EPOS hardware is one of the largest expenses a retailer faces, according to J2 Retail national sales manager Richard Heitmann. “So it’s important that the short-term cost is offset by low ongoing maintenance costs. By working with Greggs to develop a bespoke solution suited to their in-house applications and to the bakery environment, total cost of ownership will be kept to a minimum.”