A leading retailer in home improvements
Nine large stores across Portugal specialise in selling DIY, building, decorating and gardening products, and are located in the regions of Lisbon, Porto, Coimbra and Albufeira. The DIY superstores have an average of 9,000m2 of retail floor space, organized around five sections (DIY, construction, furniture, sanitary equipment and decoration).
Leroy Merlin is a European chain of home improvement and gardening stores, with a key market presence in Portugal.The chain defines itself as having “innovative and unique stores that include a wide range of products, low prices and professional, personal service”.
The Leroy Merlin brand also includes more than 300 services, tailored to each country, to monitor projects, budgets, ordering, delivery, van rentals and after-sales service. These have allocated desks or areas within the stores. It also provides DIY classes and specialized bookstores in some locations.
The chain wanted to build on its already very strong customer service by streamlining the way in which shoppers are led to, and informed of, the separate service counters in store. This would allow for a much more efficient and stress-free experience for customers, in which they could take full advantage of the range of services on offer. Queue management and customer journey specialist the Tensator Group identified immediately what was needed to take the Leroy Merlin shopper experience to the next level.
The need to streamline service
The main objectives of Tensator’s involvement with Leroy Merlin were to:
- Manage queues at various locations, ordering them for service and allowing the customer to take a ticket for the intended service from any dispenser in the store.
- Allow customers to be called forward for all services from any screen, thus enabling a more comfortable and convenient wait.
- Improve communication and dissemination of products and customer services.
- Manage service teams according to customer demand.
- Facilitate communication between all system components via the in-store Wi-Fi network.
Tensator developed a tailored solution for Leroy Merlin in Alfragide, using an eQ™ Virtual Queuing system incorporating Inline management software and Corporate TV to broadcast information on product offers and deliver marketing messages.
“Now, when customers walk around Leroy Merlin, they can see clearly from screens what products are on offer and which area to find them in. Ticket dispensers next to these screens offer them a queuing position for whichever service they need. They can then continue browsing whilst they wait for their number to be called from anywhere in the store.”
The system communicates entirely via a Wi-Fi network, which negates the need to have a web of cables running through the store and allows for easier changes to the system. In total, the Alfragide store has installed six Prima ticket dispensers and a 32-inch screen on each service counter (returns, financial services, kitchens, wood and glass cutting and the colour centre). There are also seven additional 42-inch screens in the main aisles, ensuring greater visibility of sales messages in-store via Corporate TV software.
Now, when customers walk around Leroy Merlin, they can see clearly from screens what products are on offer and which area to find them in. Ticket dispensers next to these screens offer them a queuing position for whichever service they need. They can then continue browsing while they wait for their number to be called from anywhere in the store.
The net result is that shoppers do not have to stand and wait for services, staff in the service areas are under less pressure and more time is spent browsing other products, increasing the capacity for sales.
Giving customer numbers a makeover
Since the Tensator virtual queuing system was implemented, the Alfragide store has seen a marked impact upon total customer numbers. This is in both the amount of time spent looking around the store and the number of people using the individual service areas. All of this has had a significant impact on sales at the store.
Tensator continues to provide maintenance and support services to Leroy Merlin for the entire system. This includes improvements to hardware and software updates for the management system.
“This system has brought Leroy Merlin right up to date with the latest technological trends in retail,” said Alan McPherson, Chief Executive Officer at Tensator.
“For large stores like Leroy Merlin’s, customers now expect a more controlled and efficient in-store customer experience, rather than having to wait in long queues. This approach means a more enjoyable visit for customers and better sales for retailers.”