Case Study – Pigeonhole

Pigeonhole away flying after switching to Cin7.

Pigeonhole first opened in October 2007 as a tiny, one-stop fashion and gift store tucked away in a heritage arcade in Perth on the west coast of Australia. Over the past eight years, the company has grown to encompass 11 stores, a wholesale business and production office, with locations throughout Australia, Asia and Europe. Pigeonhole is made up of around 70 staff, interns and contributors from all over the world.

As the expansion and growth of the retail arm of the business continued, Pigeonhole’s original POS was failing to keep up. Retail floor staff were unable to process transactions efficiently, leading to loss in sales whilst increasing staff-time cost in addressing the issues. After evaluating a number of system options, Cin7 was deemed the best given its ability to integrate with Xero; cloud base set-up allowing staff access regardless of their location; and that it could also be rolled out to Pigeonhole’s Wholesale business. All these combined meant potential increase in sales due to reduction in POS issues and faster access to critical information to make strategic decisions.

Cin7 caught up with Sue Lim, General Manager Wholesale at Pigeonhole to discuss.

A POS system that didn’t quite fit…

Pigeonhole’s multiple stores had been operating using the Lightspeed Point of Sale system throughout its rapid growth stage. However, it soon became clear the system was unable to keep up with the increased expansion. “It simply came down to the previous system not being able to handle the number of stores and transactions we were reaching”, says Sue. Needing a system that could integrate into their wholesale and retail functions, they performed due diligence across a number of different solutions suggested by their accountant.

Finding a system to suit their new size…

“No matter the system chosen, it needed to integrate with Xero”, says Sue. Xero was selected as their new financial system to replace MYOB. The solution chosen needed to “provide a central location to manage our wholesale and retail businesses”, says Sue. When comparing Cin7 to other products, stakeholders agreed that Cin7 ticked all the boxes.

As anticipated, changing over of an operating system for a multi-store retail business located nationally proved to be challenging. However, Cin7 worked closely with Pigeonhole, including a week-long visit by Danny Ing, founder of Cin7, to address the issues as they rose even making customised changes. The system was made live in time to face the Christmas shopping season, the busiest time in retail calendar.

A better approach to retail…

It is now a year after the implemenation and Pigeonhole’s retail business is operating smoother and faster. The customisations made to the point of sale’s interface, “has made it easier for staff to process transactions”, says Sue. The goal of finding a system that is able to keep up with its growth has been met with Cin7, “Cin7 has definitely delivered on that aspect”, says Sue.

The Cin7 team continues to take on board feedback from Pigeonhole. “The changes Danny and the team provide where they can, contribute to increasing the speed and accuracy of the strategic decisions being made and just as importantly, happier retail staff working with a user-friendly POS”, says Sue. Pigeonhole is now in the middle of rolling out Cin7 for their Wholesale business.


Industry: Fashion & Apparel, General/Retail

  • Business Benefits
  • Transactions made easy
  • Accuracy in information
  • Smoother and faster retail operations
  • Better data to make strategic decisions
“It [Cin7] meant we were able to operate smoothly and allowed our staff to focus on selling rather than resolving stock issues”– Sue Lim, General Manager Wholesale