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The Drake General Store is a Toronto-based retailer that sells “Canadiana” gifts and goods.

Multi-store retailer with a warehouse and 7 brick and mortar locations across Canada, as well as an online ecommerce presence

www.drakegeneralstore.ca

At a glance

1 day per week saved in admin and wages

By using Vend, the Drake General Store is able to:

Painlessly manage inventory across a warehouse and 7 locations.

Provide customers with a smooth, frictionless checkout experience.

Add new locations (and grow the business) with ease.

Cut down user error and admin time (with Moneris integrated payments).

The Challenge

Opened in 2008 in Toronto’s iconic Drake Hotel, the “traditional hotel gift shop, classic general store, flea market stand, and museum shop all rolled into one” needed a POS capable of handling intense inventory volume, providing a smooth customer experience, and scaling easily and quickly.

The original Drake General Store opened in 2008 as a retail staple for Toronto’s Drake Hotel. The idea behind the business was to provide locals and visitors alike with a “Canadian cultural crossroads” at which to buy authentic Canadiana goods from Canadian brands, artists, and companies - something the Drake team knew would likely result in their handling high volumes of inventory.

So when they began the search for a point of sale system that’d work for the business, they were primarily looking for one to make managing all those products a total breeze.

As the retail face for an iconic hotel, the Drake also had the customer experience at the top of their list. They needed a POS that could provide shoppers with a smooth, memorable experience throughout the shopping journey.

In addition to those inventory and customer experience needs, the retailer wanted a POS fitting the modern, contemporary vibe they sought to cultivate.

“For a company that’s always growing and learning, Vend eliminates a lot of issues that we used to second-guess, like inventory, because we know our inventory’s always safe in Vend.”

Jermaine Hamilton, Brand Manager at the Drake General Store

The solution

Vend checked all the boxes on the Drake General Store’s list: unrivaled inventory management features, the ability to provide a seamless customer experience, and a modern design and platform in keeping with the business’s contemporary vibe.

The Drake General Store concluded their POS search by choosing Vend.

Because of Vend’s specialty in inventory management and cloud-based platform that affords flexibility and portability when it comes to the in-store experience, the Drake team knew Vend was the right fit for their new business.

Since starting the flagship store in 2008, the Drake General Store has seen massive success - opening a warehouse for their inventory requirements and expanding to 6 other brick and mortar locations (in high-profile Canadian shopping areas, no less!) with the help of Vend.

They now manage the entire business’s inventory from Vend’s central platform, saving huge amounts of time once spent on manual reconciliation and virtually eliminating inventory-associated stress. They’re able to use Vend as a tool to easily communicate between locations, and they can get a real-time overview of store and overall business performance with Vend Reporting.

By operating Vend on iPad in their 7 stores and using Moneris integrated payments, the Drake is able to painlessly give their customers that frictionless experience that’s so important.

But the Drake team have found Vend to be much more than a simple POS.

“Vend is our go-to tool for all business functions - basic and critical. From small tasks such as inter-store product transfers to big things like massive store inventory counts. Vend helps you run your business the way it should be run.”

Jermaine Hamilton, Brand Manager at the Drake General Store

The results

7 brick and mortar stores in high-profile Canadian shopping areas, 1 whole day per week saved in admin and wages, stress-free inventory management, a smooth customer experience, and the ability to add new locations with ease

By using Vend, the Drake General Store was able to expand from its original shop to 7 total brick and mortar locations across high-profile shopping areas in Canada.

Adding new locations was quick and easy in Vend, and it gave the Drake team peace of mind to know that their trusted POS system would take care of everything behind-the-scenes as they worked to grow their business.

“You open up a store, and we can transfer everything right to it,” says brand manager Jermaine Hamilton. “The moment we turn that iPad or computer on, Vend has our inventory ready to go. We could have a store running within minutes because of how organized Vend keeps us and the communication it allows us between stores.”

Thanks to Vend’s strong inventory management and reporting features, the Drake has been able to save 1 whole day per week in admin and wages - an enormous benefit that continues to allow the retailer to maximize growth and profit.

With the Vend-Moneris integration, the Drake’s closing time has gone from 15 minutes each day to 5. “Integrating Moneris with Vend definitely saves us time when it comes to operation of the store, customer service, and pretty much the day-to-day running of our locations,” says Jermaine.

And Vend’s beautifully designed, easy-to-operate cloud-based platform has allowed the Drake to maintain that sleek and modern vibe they were going for.

But we’ll let one of the Drake’s own describe what Vend really means to the business. Here’s what brand manager Jermaine has to say: “Vend is so intertwined with how we run our store daily that I can’t see us growing and continuing to give our guests the experience they’re used to without it.”

“If you’re a boutique brand and you’re trying to work out how to control your inventory, how to run your shop, how to give your customers a great experience when it comes to that front desk, Vend is definitely the way to do it.”

Jermaine Hamilton, Brand Manager at Drake General Store

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