Case study: UK retailer modernizes its outlet price markdown process December 5th, 2018

Case study: UK retailer modernizes its outlet price markdown process

The challenge

As everything is being digitally transformed and becomes more modern, any industry and store need to keep up with these changes and adapt to new technologies. The same was the thought process of a UK high street retailer, who decided to modernize its price markdown system.

The retailer, which has four online stores and clearance-based bricks and mortar retail outlets across the UK, was using the outdated method of hand-writing its price markdown labels for all products sold in store. The handwritten labels were not only difficult for staff members to read, but they were also making it difficult for customers to understand the cost of items without having to ask for assistance. This meant that staff were tied up with answering queries, rather than focusing on sales and could result in frustrated customers abandoning their purchase if they were unable to get a quick response. In addition, goods returned to one of the retailer's online shops were distributed to its bricks and mortar outlets to sell on. In the retailer's existing process, the items were marked down on reaching the outlet making it difficult for staff to manage the processing and application of accurate prices.

The solution 

Recognising the need to update its system, the retailer required a solution that made the application of price markdown labels more efficient for its staff. The labels needed to be more

legible and accurate enabling streamlining stock control between stores. And that was achieved with SATO’s portable TH2 Series printers, providing a simple and versatile solution. Twenty-five of this portable TH2 Series printers were provided to the retailer and rolled out across its UK stores over a 12-month period, along with swing tags and labels with various templates, creating multiple markdown options. An additional seventeen TH2s were deployed in the warehouse to be used by operatives to label all goods prior to shipment to clearance stores.

The result

The TH2 battery-operated printer made it easy for staff to scan existing product barcodes with an accompanying scanner and look them up in the internal database of the printer and also print multiple labels in a short time. The TH2's ability to calculate prices from an accurate database, due to its onboard Application Enabled Printing (AEP) technology, proved to be of further benefit to the warehouse that handled the retailer's online store returns. The SATO TH2 printer enabled a new, more efficient way of working for the retailer. Staff can now quickly print and apply markdown labels to goods, using accurate data from the printer's onboard intelligence. In addition, incoming goods from the warehouse (returns from the retailer's online store) are now prelabelled by warehouse operatives, meaning that outlet staff can merchandise them straight from the box. This, combined with the fact that customers can easily identify price markdowns, has delivered substantial labour savings and led to a reported increase in sales of 30-40%.


Samantha is BlueStar's Digital Media Specialist, and the primary contributing writer for VartechNation. Previously, she has worked as a Public Relations Associate and a Social Media Manager.