Pep & Co is the first strategic investment by Pepkor UK Retail, which is owned by South African Christo Wiese and led by former Asda CEO Andy Bond and ex-Bain & Company consultant Mark Elliott. The Pep & Co brand will focus on providing family fashion and homewares on the high street.
Pepkor UK Retail was established by Bond and Elliott in 2014 and is the UK arm of the wider investment company Pepkor Group, which is based in Cape Town and holds retail interests in Africa, Australia and Eastern Europe.
With Barron McCann’s solid 35-year reputation as a leading supplier to UK and European retailers including TK Maxx, The Body Shop and Primark, Pep & Co initially approached the team for advice and guidance on managing their ambitious 50 store roll out which needed to take place over a tight 6 week period.
They have since awarded all of the IT support (break-fix maintenance) for their IT infrastructure to the Barron McCann team and under the contract; Barron McCann will manage the complete rollout including the supply of hardware and network equipment across their 50 stores. From their custom-build facility in Derby, Barron McCann are currently hangaring all of the kit and building a complete IT solution for each store, including aspects such as Wi-Fi and potentially CCTV.
Andy Duck, business development manager at Barron McCann said: “Pep & Co are embarking on an exciting but intensive UK roll-out and naturally, there are many challenges associated with fast ramp-up activity like this. Our extensive experience of managing national and international roll-out programmes for large retailers means that we have all the facilities, processes and resources to ensure that Pep & Co will be able to keep to their tight programme schedule, whilst ensuring that all 50 stores are well supported in terms of IT infrastructure and ready to launch on spec, to budget and on time.”
The first Pep & Co store is set to launch in Kettering, Northamptonshire in July, with all 50 stores open by the beginning of September.