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Retail Goes Rugged


The Co-op is the UK’s original food retailer—but thanks to its new rugged mobile devices, its stores are anything but dated. It all started in 2018, when the business decided to ‘go mobile’ and digitally transform their operations. For a retailer that still relied on many traditional technologies, it was a bold step. So, now they’ve had a taste of mobile, what’s the verdict? Has it proved to be the best thing since sliced bread?


“We wanted to try a new way of working, to save time for our colleagues by reducing the time they had to spend on smaller tasks”

Andy Halyard – Mobile Device Technical lead

By doing so, they hoped to relieve much of their employees’ administrative burden. Because, as every business knows, the small things soon add up. The team initially started with Samsung’s entry-level devices, to prove the use case for the business.


Then, as the investment paid off and the possibilities grew, they progressed to Samsung’s top-of-the-range rugged devices: the Samsung Tab Active Pro Enterprise Edition—part of a complete suite of mobile technology, devices and services specifically designed for business.

These were perfect for use in stores, as with anti-drop protection and IP68 water and dust resistance, they’re built to survive all the bumps, spills and scrapes of the shop floor. Being a rugged design, the devices need to be fixed or replaced less frequently, which means they also offer better total cost of ownership. As Andy says, they’ve definitely proved their worth and are seen as offering real future potential for the chain.

“It’s about empowering our colleagues to do more things with that store device, It’s a shared-use device, designed for every colleague.”

Staff can access emails, websites, the intranet and specially built portals like the ‘How to’ portal, which provides quick answers to issues, such as processing unfamiliar payment methods. Stores are also utilising popular apps, like Yammer—an internal networking and collaboration tool. They use it to share display ideas or campaigns with other stores. Stores say it’s really helped to strengthen the sense of community and bring them together—even when they’re miles apart. Plus, with store managers and area managers communicating better, they’re more agile to respond quickly to regular operational changes.

It’s a package of services and technology that has been designed to help reduce the time, money and effort IT teams are increasingly spending on managing and securing their mobile fleets. Each Enterprise Edition tablet comes with three years’ enhanced support and four years of security updates. Plus, Co-op were provided with dedicated training and support on hand to familiarise staff with the devices.

Case Study

The Co-op tells us why Samsung rugged tablets have given its stores a big appetite for mobile technology.

ClientCo-OpSolutionProduct SupplyTechnologyCompute & MobileBrandsSamsung & MicrosoftShare