- Colton Cassell, Operations Coordinator with NRA store, Shows and Exhibits
Retail Pro Prism
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There's something special about a pop-up store.
Perhaps it's that limited-time-offer feeling – the hard-to-put-a-finger-on-it sense that if we don't take the plunge now, the opportunity may soon be gone. Sort of like that great deal you saw on a 1963 'Vette.
The National Rifle Association can relate. It understands that pop-up stores generate a sense of urgency for buyers, in addition to providing the opportunity for retailers to create an unforgettable branded experience. So, in April at the 146th Annual Meeting in Atlanta, the NRA opened not one but two pop-up stores using Retail Pro point-of-sale software solution.
Official membership attendance was over 81,000 attendees. This year’s venue, the Georgia World Congress Center, is the USA's third largest convention center, which presented several challenges -- but the results hit the mark.
"The Retail Pro Prism POS software performed very well, and we were very pleased to fully use its capabilities to boost our performance at the show," said Colton Cassell, Operations Coordinator with NRA store, Shows and Exhibits.
The NRA produces three shows a year with the Annual Meeting being the largest. At each of these shows, the NRAstore is set up in just days prior to grand opening, to showcase the products available at www.nrastore.com. The NRA Annual Meeting and NRA Carry Guard Expo moves to a new city each year, so this always presents a new set of challenges each year.
“We needed software that’s mobile, versatile, and stable enough to handle popup store requirements. We found that in Retail Pro.”
Cassell works closely with their Retail Pro Business Partner, Retail Information Systems, to keep the NRA up to date on their Retail Pro. “As we use the software, we’ll come back to RIS with suggestions about pain points – and we are encouraged to see when both RIS and Retail Pro International listen to our feedback and incorporate it into updates.”
Another important requirement was that the system be easy to use. The NRA retail business is run by 6 brilliantly resourceful people, and relies on a team of approximately 100 volunteers for the event’s duration – “Mostly, the people who volunteer have never touched POS software before, but they believe in the NRA and want to show their support by donating their time,” Cassell explained. “In a matter of minutes, we are able to train volunteers who have never worked with the Retail Pro software and get them to the point where they are confident and can process transactions quickly.”
While the main store is always a big project anywhere from 6,000 – 9,000 square feet, the NRAstore team was tasked with adding on a satellite store three floors down at the Georgia World Congress Center. So the Retail Pro Prism POS was deployed centrally, tying all lanes into the main store server located in the main store.
"I really wanted to use Retail Pro Prism POS in all stores so we could maintain accurate inventory across them all," Cassell said. The NRA Information Systems department then went to work configuring a hardwire network connection between the stores through the convention center’s vast network infrastructure.
"The connected Retail Pro Prism software provided excellent sales reports that we were able to use after the show, and provided live inventory quantities that we could monitor during the show," Cassell said. Having multiple locations was a success, with all lanes across stores performing flawlessly.
From the first day, the benefits of Retail Pro Prism were evident. Its features are a perfect fit for organizations such as the NRA, which operate various or multiple business models and use promotions regularly.
"Retail Pro Prism has strong promotional functionality," Cassell said. "We were able to adjust the rules as needed to work with any bundle promotions of hat or t-shirt, so cashiers don’t have to think about giving the discount. It’s applied automatically and has reduced transaction time. With Retail Pro Prism we were actually able to move higher volumes of traffic using fewer registers, compared to our old system of analog cash registers.” This was excellent news, as 100% of the proceeds from purchases go toward vital NRA programs.
Having connected data paid off too. “With Retail Pro, we are able to track exactly how much product we sold. We know how much we brought to the show and how much we take back,” Cassell added. “I’m able to run a quantity sold and quantity on hand report for our staff at the warehouse and the physical counts match closely, when returning from the show. Being able to track inventory is critical to overall success.”
The combination of using connected pop-up stores and Retail Pro Prism let the NRA successfully sell to customers who wanted to touch and feel products they were used to seeing online. The pop-ups also let the NRA introduce new products to customers and created a "limited-time offer" environment – while Retail Pro Prism captured inventory and sales information. Together, the strategy creates an exciting, efficient shopping experience that provides NRAstore the opportunity to generate demand as well as keep accurate inventory and sales data.