International apparel brand SuperGroup has turned to Axis Communications, the network video solutions provider, to replace its legacy, outmoded surveillance system in order to improve safety and security across its European store network.
Founded in 1985, SuperGroup has developed to design and sell a wide range of premium men's and women's clothing under its flagship brand, Superdry. With over 100 UK and European standalone stores and over a further 250 UK and international concessions, franchised and licensed stores, it required a modern, feature-rich surveillance system that was simple, scalable and aesthetically pleasing.
Scott Brothers, retail business development manager for northern Europe, Axis Communications explained: "SuperGroup had a very specific set of requirements. From a security perspective, it needed a state-of-the-art surveillance system that would provide greater coverage of the shop floor and high-risk areas, it also needed high-definition image quality and network video capability for better identification of offenders.
"However, any system had to be inconspicuous and aesthetically pleasing to the strict design and layout of the stores that is governed by the brand."
Darren Conway, health and safety and loss prevention manager at SuperGroup added: "We have a very specific aesthetic in all our stores, characterised by dynamic, low-level lighting, reflective surfaces and LED signage; we've found that a lot of cameras lose image detail in these conditions."
Working closely with video management software and network video recording specialist, Wavestore, Axis was able to design a custom surveillance solution which met all of SuperGroup's requirements and fitted in perfectly with its unique store design. AXIS M30 and AXIS P33 series ultra-compact fixed dome cameras were chosen for the SuperGroup UK installation due to their crystal-clear picture quality and broad field of view, utilising Axis' unique Corridor Format display.
Darren continued: "With our old system, we had to flood each store with around 30 analogue cameras. In such a confined space, they really detracted from the look of the store fit-out and we still had an unacceptable number of blind spots. With Axis cameras we've now reduced the number of cameras in our stores to between six and 12 which cover the entire store in perfect HDTV quality.
"Not only have we been able to reduce the camera count at each store by between 60 to 80%, feedback from our store managers has been fantastic with incident identification now up to 100%."
The installation has been so successful that Axis and Wavestore are currently trialling further integrations in SuperGroup's UK stores, such as a system to automatically notify nearby staff when a customer enters the fitting room area.
Scott continued: "The SuperGroup partnership is yet another example of how Axis is being specified by some of the UK's leading brands to deliver cutting-edge solutions to improve security and the wider customer experience.
"We are increasingly working with large retailers who are keen to sweat their assets and maximise the potential from a state-of-the-art network video systems. Using smart analytics to complement the surveillance system and for more than just loss prevention and security, can really deliver a measurable return on investment. Retailers are really embracing the business benefits of using network video in other areas such as marketing, visual merchandising and retail operations."
Justin Wheatley, director of engineering at Wavestore said: "This was a great project to work on and provided us with an opportunity to work in harmony with Axis to deliver the best solution for the client. We know that we can always rely on Axis cameras to deliver excellent quality images and offer real value."
Following the successful installations in six of SuperGroup's UK stores, there are plans to install the new system in another 30 stores over the coming year. Darren concluded: "We've been very impressed with the system so far and are about to trial some more advanced functionality when we install the system into our next new store opening.
"Whenever we've presented Axis and Wavestore with a problem, they've come back with an almost immediate solution. At every stage of the installation, Axis' support and customer service has been second to none."