DREAMS bed superstores rest easy with networked surveillance

Leading retailer installs a Wide Area Network for its 100+ stores.


COPENHAGEN, Denmark, 8 Feburay 2005

Never to be accused of lying down on the job, Dreams plc is living up to its title as ‘Britain’s leading Bed Specialist’ by installing a Wide Area Network to connect its 100+ stores. One of Britain's fastest growing retailers, they were looking to maximize their investment when implementing solutions for IP telephony and IP surveillance.

"We had challenges with the security of our stores. For example, we had recently introduced a range of smaller items such as pillows and duvets, and found that theft of such products was occurring. In order to protect both our stock and our staff from would-be thieves, it became clear that a dedicated solution was required," says Claire Harrison, Major Projects Manager at Dreams.

Using a Milestone XProtect IP video solution implemented by Absolute Networks Limited in conjunction with Gardiner Security, the system does more than meet Dreams’ requirements to improve security by also monitoring customer foot-fall (people-counting) using the recorded video data. In addition, the system enables remote training for staff and is flexible enough to grow in line with the group's plans for 200 stores.

"As we learned more about the integration capabilities of the Milestone XProtect product, we identified a number of additional benefits that could be gained from this solution, such as customer foot fall analysis," reports Harrison.

The company is now able to analyze the customer foot fall for each of their stores, then compare it to sales figures for any given day or week to assess the conversion ratio of their sales staff. This allows the management team to identify areas where business development is required, and improve service levels for their customers.

A networked monitoring console is deployed at each of the Dreams stores nationwide, with Pixord IP cameras recording locally to preserve network bandwidth during critical business hours. The XProtect software has a built-in web interface that provides visibility of the camera footage in remote locations, with the option to view both live and recorded images. The XProtect motion detection log files are transferred across the Wide Area Network to a central repository during non-trading hours, where they are processed to produce the footfall data using additional software specially developed by Absolute Networks Limited.