ALOUETTES | MONTREAL | SPORTS
Founded in 1946, Les Alouettes de Montréal is one of the biggest teams in Canadian football. Folded and revived twice, the team is now part of the popular culture in Quebec. Nothing brings us together like sports. Through victory and defeat, Montréal’s football team Les Alouettes has rallied thousands of supporters in La Belle Province.
Retail stores powered by Lightspeed, online and offline, help the Alouettes brand expand its reach while keeping in touch with fans when they are not in the stadium. But even for such a big name, there is no escaping the challenges of managing retail operations. We talked to Benjamin Puig, marketing director of the brand, to better understand Les Alouettes as an independent retail business.
10 matches at home in Montréal every year: that’s all the opportunities Les Alouettes have to physically sell their merchandise every year. Renting the McGill University stadium for their matches, the football team receives the keys 48 hours before a game and give them back 24 hours after. Within that timeframe, everything has to be ready, from the 9 stores (including 5 mobile) to the staff and the POS setup. That’s very little time to organize an entire retail infrastructure, train staff, and make sure 23,000 supporters can easily navigate between all the stores and restaurants. Especially when an issue can make or break the day in terms of sales.
If 65% of the sales are made right before a game or during a half-time, 35% of the profits still need to be collected during the rest of the year. As the team’s relationship with its fan base relies on creating emotions that culminate in actions during matches, like purchases, making sure the excitement does not totally disappear during the off-season requires some magic. With eCommerce, Les Alouettes aimed to nurture their relationship with fans and attract the clicks that will translate into online sales. Adding this additional layer of operations was necessary, but the additional inventory and different customer base for online sales were very time-consuming. So what was the alternative? The quest for integrated technology had started.
... has a solution.
Dealing with limited space and time means that every minute counts. Lightspeed offered Benjamin and his team a solution that is easy to install and set up. The staff simply can’t be struggling with the POS and manage the massive flow of customers efficiently. All 9 locations sell different items, but customers don’t know that. Lightspeed allows the staff to know exactly where an item is and redirect a customer to the right spot. That impacts the sales and reduce all the back and forth traffic in the alleys. An item is out of stock in-store? The employees can quickly check the online stock count as the inventory is centralized. The POS system works on any device, whether it’s a PC or an iPad that is better suited for mobile locations.
Lightspeed and Les Alouettes teamed up to create the ideal customer experience and it’s working. The average ticket size increased by 44% last year. Les Alouettes already had touchpoints with customers all year round and on every channel, but now, they are all connected. Centralized data has helped Benjamin develop a loyalty program that keeps shoppers coming back, with a member card you can shop with and that offers a 15 to 20% discount right away. And that too is all integrated with the POS. Discounts are automated and employees don’t have to do anything. All the streamlined processes keep everyone’s focus on what really matters: the love of sports and the joy of getting together, and that’s the real victory.