Hickory Farms Chooses IRG for Wireless WAN in its 500 Pop Up Stores Nationwide

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Flexible contracts and managed service were key factors in decision. IRG now manages all services, from sourcing carriers to overall management of the retaiLAN.

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“We’re anticipating a strong year for Hickory Farms, taking full advantage of our wireless network for faster credit card processing and an improved customer experience." -- Hickory Farms’ CIO Chris Houser

Industry Retail Group, Inc. (IRG) (http://www.industryretail.com), a leading provider of retail-centric broadband-based applications and services, recently announced Hickory Farms as its newest retail customer. IRG delivers customized solutions that enable retailers to leverage their broadband.

Hickory Farms, an American favorite since 1951 for sausages, cheeses, and gift baskets, needed cost-effective wireline service for its 500 pop up stores in time for the holiday season. It faced several challenges to finding broadband for the temporary pop up stores and kiosks which are set up in malls and shopping centers across the U.S. Primarily, most broadband providers require stringent, annual contracts that prevent pop up stores like Hickory Farms from obtaining cost-effective broadband for just three months. Additionally, extending wireline service through mall concourses is costlier and interferes with heavy customer traffic.

IRG answered Hickory Farms technical and contractual challenges, first by building a wireless, 3G WAN infrastructure using multiple wireless relationships. Second, IRG offered flexible, monthly contracts appropriate for the seasonal business. IRG Mike Luzio said, “We can’t stress enough that broadband is a commodity. It’s our task to help our customers leverage their broadband to deliver both cost-effective service and a more powerful customer experience. It’s certainly an honor to provide our service to Hickory Farms locations nationwide, a company so well-known and well-respected since its inception.”

IRG’s dedicated project manager worked closely with Hickory Farms’ Manager of Retail Information Systems Darrell Woolaver. The purpose was to understand the customer challenges and present the most effective way to leverage the broadband, since Woolaver manages all daily retail POS operations. Hickory Farms will utilize the wireless WAN for a variety of applications such as POS transactions, inventory control, and VoIP. The entire project was slated for quick deployment due to the nature of pop up stores.

Hickory Farms’ CIO Chris Houser shared, “We’re anticipating a strong year for Hickory Farms, taking full advantage of our wireless network for faster credit card processing and an improved customer experience. The flexible contracts will allow us to open locations without concern of being locked into 12-month contracts or facing cancellation penalties.”

IRG nowmanages all services, from sourcing carriers to overall management of the retaiLAN. The entire implementation was completed in early November.

Retailers interested in broadband for pop up stores and traditional brick and mortar locations should visit the company website, http://www.industryretail.com or call 866-525-8529.

About Industry Retail Group
IRG is a premier provider of broadband-enabled network services, serving retailers and other multi-site companies across the globe. IRG partners with its clients to serve as a single, comprehensive source for industry-specific managed broadband-related services and solutions, while offering 24/7/365 proactive, dedicated support from one of our multiple Network Operation Centers. IRG has a growing client base including Fortune 1000 retailers with locations worldwide. IRG also provides valuable overlay applications including Hotspot and Enterprise Wi-Fi solutions, Hosted VoIP, and IP-based Video Surveillance to name a few. These bottom-line impacting services allow clients to further leverage their WAN investment while being assured IRG handles multiple aspects of their clients’ security component WAN infrastructure as a VISA PCI DSS Validated Service Provider.

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John Centofanti
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