Thought Leadership

Catapult on Duty at Blue Water Bridge

Blue Water Duty Free

Catapult meets the unique demands of Duty Free shops with minimal customization

When management at the Blue Water Bridge Duty Free Shop in Sarnia, Ontario began its search for a new Duty Free POS system two years ago, it held little hope of finding an ‘out-of-the-box’ solution.

Special Projects Consultant Peter Brain says the company believed it would need a customized POS system to meet the specialized demands of a duty-free shop. “The duty-free business is a unique entity with very specific requirements,” Peter explains. “We were surprised to learn that the Catapult system could do more than 90 percent of what we needed right out of the box.”

Peter says the store had outgrown its previous POS system, and began looking at a number of POS systems in 2015.

“Some of the systems we looked at could do the job, but they seemed complex. It felt like it would take us five years to learn how to use it properly. We began looking at the Catapult solution for two reasons – it had great online reviews, and it had good representation in our area with Armagh POS.”

Bonnie Gates, Marketing Manager at the Peace Bridge Duty Free, says the Catapult system has dramatically increased its ability to handle peak traffic periods.

Bonnie Gates, Marketing Manager at the Peace Bridge Duty Free, says the Catapult system has dramatically increased its ability to handle peak traffic periods.

Blue Water Duty Free owner Gerry Lee says he immediately saw the benefits Catapult could bring to the business. “What really attracted me was that it was a real-time system, and it had a much friendlier interface on both the back office and front cash systems.

“But as we dove into it I realized it had a lot more features, such as loyalty programs, discount and promotional features that we had never had before. The deeper we went, Catapult just kept getting better and better.”

Peter says Armagh pointed out key features, “showing us the system could be configured to handle tour buses, setting up and paying out commissions to drivers and tour escorts. It could also handle the tax rebates for product going into the U.S. as well as some of our other rather unique demands.”

The Lee family has owned and operated the Blue Water Bridge Duty Free Shop since 1987, moving into its current 30,000-square-foot facility in 2001. The company had been through two previous POS systems, and wanted something that would help drive the business forward.

Blue Water Bridge - Duty Free Welcome SignSpeed was important, adds Peter, because the store experiences frequent high-volume surges during which four or five tour buses can roll up to the doors in addition to regular traffic.

“The touch-screen interface on the POS terminals is so easy to use, our staff loved it right away. The integrated credit/debit card payment system makes it so much faster to process that we were able to decrease our staffing at the front end, putting those people back on the floor to concentrate more on selling.”

Peter and Gerry say customers and staff love the new system, noting the first year of using Catapult has proven that it can help increase business with its speed and powerful analytical reporting tools.

“It will help our business grow on two levels. First of all there is the comfort in knowing the system is bullet proof. We haven’t had a single problem with Catapult since we launched it over a year ago. One of the fears in moving to any new POS system is not having someone to call when you have questions. We have found Armagh tremendously responsive. They worked 24/7 in helping us move over to our new system. And I know that if I call for help, they answer and they answer quickly.”

The second driving force for business growth is Catapult’s powerful reporting and analysis tools. “Catapult’s new Briefcase reporting program is proving to be an excellent tool for extracting the information we need in a very simple drag and drop way for a meaningful analysis of our business,” says Peter.

The simple Briefcase user interface, combined with its powerful OLAP (Online Analytical Processing) Data Cube, is designed to empower retail executives and analysts with the ability to quickly view and compare key data metrics within their retail enterprise including: daily sales, hourly statistics, customer activity, items on-hand snap shots, and promotions.

“I would recommend Catapult and Armagh without hesitation for any duty-free operator wanting a system that will deliver,” adds Peter.

The Blue Water experience has paved the way for Armagh to install Catapult at other duty-free shops.

Bonnie Gates, Marketing Manager at the Peace Bridge Duty Free in Fort Erie, says Catapult has enabled her store to handle increasing volumes of tour buses with ease. “Our new POS system has dramatically increased our ability to handle bus traffic. On a typical Friday, we have a lot of tour buses stopping at this location. The lines can look long, but people soon realize we are moving people through very quickly thanks to Catapult.”

About Armagh POS Solutions

Armagh has been serving the retail, restaurant and grocery industries in Canada since 1979, delivering solutions for a range of operators from single-unit small businesses to multi-unit national chains.

We are specialists in touch screen and scanning point of sale (POS) systems for both restaurants and retail stores, cash registers, scales, liquor inventory control systems, and grocery label and wrapping equipment.

With 40+ years POS industry experienced the sales staff at Armagh provides experienced consultants in point-of-purchase management, customer service efficiency, process automation, and restaurant order management.

Armagh’s award-winning Catapult Retail POS Software and Digital Dining POS Restaurant Software are best-in-class, and Armagh is a QIR and Diamond Toshiba Alliance Partner.