LOUISVILLE, Colo., Jan 03, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- KIOSK Information Systems (KIOSK) announces the launch of StoreBOT(TM) -- the latest in a new series of Automated Retail Solutions the company is demonstrating at the National Retail Federation (NRF) Show, January 16th & 17th in New York City.
LOUISVILLE, Colo., Jan 03, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- KIOSK Information Systems (KIOSK) announces the launch of StoreBOT(TM) -- the latest in a new series of Automated Retail Solutions the company is demonstrating at the National Retail Federation (NRF) Show, January 16th & 17th in New York City.
StoreBOT, created in conjunction with a world leading specialty retailer, is an automated retail platform providing secure self-service delivery of multiple product categories (games, electronics, perfume, and health/beauty items). The automated center provides retailers with a sales & delivery mechanism to resolve notoriously high shrink rates associated with small, but expensive items.
The system blocks category loss at both an employee and consumer level. Employee theft in North America accounts for 44.1% of shrink, according to the Global Retail Theft Barometer (GRTB July 2010 -- June 2011). StoreBOT intercepts employee theft by incorporating employee password and/or biometric & camera components to identify and link associates responsible for loading machine inventory with automated stock count reports (before and after loading). Once loaded, inventory remains securely housed and locked in the enclosure until dispensed with completed payment transaction, blocking the 43.2% of shrink currently associated with shoplifting and organized retail crime.
The StoreBOT robotic delivery mechanism doubles as an intelligent inventory count tool. The system provides on-demand inventory visibility by quickly scanning the physical product bar codes and remotely reporting back accurate counts directly to the retailer, eliminating costly operator involvement and stock losses resulting from administrative errors. Further, StoreBOT automatically triggers re-order reports based on minimum stock levels to prevent missed sales opportunities.
The sales & loyalty platform provides brand selection that rivals an online ordering experience (200 -- 600 product slots), with the immediate delivery only available at a walk-in retailer. The modular platform can fit in-line with departmental store shelving, or act as a stand-alone kiosk in alternative retail placements.
"The KIOSK design and application development teams worked closely with initial clients to create tangible ROI into the custom platform," states CEO Rick Malone. "Ultimately, automated retail is about simultaneously eliminating multiple tiers of theft while maximizing sales, and the unique feature set in the StoreBOT platform hits both marks dead-on. KIOSK sees endless possibilities in automated retail, and is developing flexible solution configurations to accommodate the various product categories and sales environments of our retailer client base."
About KIOSK Information Systems:
Since 1993, KIOSK Information Systems (KIOSK) has led the industry in design, manufacturing and support of self-service solutions. An exceptionally broad portfolio of standard and custom KIOSK designs is deployed with Fortune 500 clients in virtually all self-service vertical markets. As the undisputed market leader in custom solutions, KIOSK provides proven expertise in design engineering, application development, component integration, and quick-turn manufacturing for even the most sophisticated self-service platforms. ISO 9001:2008 certified processes ensure every solution provides superior field reliability. www.kiosk.com
SOURCE: KIOSK Information Systems
A survey of more than 16,000 consumers show that self-checkouts rank as the number one technology that enhances overall shopping experience.
The 2011 Consumer Insights Panel study, by Empathica Inc, reveals that the self-service is the favourite technology amongst retail shoppers.
The survey asked consumers in Canada and America which technologies they valued the most in their grocery experience. The findings demonstrate that the top five grocery store technologies that consumers value, from the most important to the least, include;
So it is obvious how much a self-service kiosk can benefit a business and improve customer experience but the research also found that dependent on where we live, influences our technology preferences.
Of the U.S consumer, 65% considered self-checkouts important in comparison to only 54% of Canadian shoppers. This shows that not all retail outlets may have touch screen technologies deployed and therefore this will ultimately affect how valuable we think it is. If there are none already installed, then a consumer will value it as low because they haven’t even experienced the advantages.
The study also revealed differences between sexes. More women surveyed (51%) said they valued grocery store technology in contrast to men (46%). They appreciated the electronic product offers like email and mobile device features and the majority of women (57%) said an easy-to-use website initially influenced the overall customer experience.
The survey further found that 80% of consumers aged between 18-24 years old, said grocery technology was an important factor in shopping experience, so differentiate yourself from other businesses today and cater to consumer’s needs that are evolving from time to time by deploying a touch screen kiosk, with Protouch.
Self-Service Technology Ranks No 1 For Retail Shopping In The U.S And Canada
STOUGHTON, MA -- Next Generation Vending and Food Service Inc., a leading regional vending company serving the Northeast, has been acquired by private-equity investment firm H.I.G. Capital LLC. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The company, which maintains headquarters here and several branches throughout the Northeast, will continue to be led by chief executive David Mac Isaac and chief operating officer Joe Rogan. Next Generation management will retain a "sizeable" equity stake in the company, officials said.
Mac Isaac said H.I.G.'s recapitalization comes at a pivotal time as Next Generation moves to complete deployment of remote monitoring technology to its entire fleet of vending machines and vehicles. "With H.I.G.'s backing and expertise, we will be well positioned to aggressively seek and exploit growth opportunities to better service our existing customers' vending needs, as well as those of new customers," he stated.
Michael Phillips, a managing director at H.I.G. Capital, praised Next Generation's management team for its closing 11 acquisitions over the past three years and improving profitability simultaneously. "We look forward to assisting Next Generation to maintain its leadership position as the largest vending company in the Northeast and to continue to grow its footprint and implement remote-monitoring technology," he said.
Next Generation provides vending and office refreshment services to more than 8,500 customers throughout the Northeast, including Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, upstate New York and Northern Pennsylvania. In February, the company sold its foodservice division to Lessing's, a large foodservice and hospitality operation based in Great River, NY, to focus on its vending business.
H.I.G. Capital, founded in 1993, manages more than $8.5 billion. Based in Miami, with offices in San Francisco, Atlanta, Boston, New York, London, Hamburg and Paris,
Wine kiosk vendor owes PA around $800K + they never worked very well at Wegmans. Another reasonable idea for automation bites the dust due to execution.
LCB's wine kiosk experiment may be ending
August 05, 2011|By Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - The state Liquor Control Board's one-year experiment with wine kiosks may soon be coming to an end at a supermarket near you.
The LCB claims the Conshohocken-based contractor that provided the kiosks owes the state nearly $1 million.
The contractor disputes this. But the liquor board has warned that if its differences with Simple Brands L.L.C. can't be resolved within the next 45 days, it will "cease all kiosk operations," according to letters between the board and the company obtained by The Inquirer.
Minneapolis -- Best Buy Co.’s Best Buy Express plans to add nearly 100 kiosk locations in the next year spread over a variety of new channels.
The division has opened 150 Express locations in three years, and said it is adding two locations at Downtown Disney District in Anaheim, Calif., and multiple locations at college campuses, events and ferry hubs this year.
Best Buy Express is a self-serve kiosk solution offering consumer electronics at Best Buy prices. With locations in airports, train stations, casinos and turnpike rest stops, Best Buy Express sells such products as computer accessories, digital cameras, storage devices and headphones through strategically located kiosks.
"The arrival of our self-serve kiosks at Disney is a testament to the continued growth of Best Buy Express," said Julie St. Marie, business leader of Best Buy Express.
Best Buy Co. Inc. is expanding its Best Buy Express kiosk business to Disneyland Resort in Anaheim and to college campuses.
Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) said it has opened 150 Best Buy Express locations in the last three years and will add 100 more in the next year.
Sister paper Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal profiled Best Buy Express a year ago. Click here to read a profile of the concept.
The self-service kiosks, which look like large vending machines, offer consumer electronics at the same prices charged at Best Buy stores. They are located in airports, train stations, casinos and rest stops.
"The arrival of our self-serve kiosks at Disney is a testament to the continued growth of Best Buy Express," Julie St. Marie, business leader of Best Buy Express, said in a statement.
Best Buy Express offers computer accessories, digital cameras, storage devices and headphones.
CORONA, Calif., July 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- AVT, Inc., (formerly Automated Vending Technologies) (Pinksheets:AVTC.pk- News) (www.autoretail.com) announced today that they have developed a new high-tech vending system that out performs any other type of unit.
The new AVT ExpressPay Vending system features a touch screen interface and a cashless payment system, so users can find what they want easily, swipe a credit card, and receive their product.
Owners and operators will appreciate the systems back-end management, which provides up to the minute reports and notifications via a unique Internet portal.
The system can also be configured to accept gift or corporate reward cards, making them perfect for factories, schools, and businesses that want to control spending or have pre-paid accounts for employees or students.
"This system is another example of how AVT continues to innovate and lead the industry with new designs that offer significant benefits to both consumers and owner-operators," company founder Shannon Illingworth stated..."
Nice feature on KMC on the strength of the self-check-out market (albeit matured). Quotes from NCR and Wincor (nothing from Fujitsu ironically).
In the wake of the news that Albertsons LLC is pulling self-checkout from its 217 Albertsons stores and that Kroger is trialing a self-checkout-less store, news stories cropped up across the Internet about "the trend" of pulling self-checkout from grocery stores.
Setting aside the issue of whether or not one or two occurrences of anything can properly be called a trend, two of the top players in the self-checkout business say nothing could be further from the truth.
Both Wincor Nixdorf and NCR Corp. reacted to the idea that self-checkout might be in trouble with what might almost be described as amusement.
"Far from being at the end, we're at the end of the beginning, and the opportunity for retail automation is healthier than it's ever been," said Doug Wallace, vice president of Wincor Nixdorf's Retail Division, in a recent interview.
Wallace pointed to a study from late last year saying that 2010 would see consumers spend $740 billion through self-service or self-checkout technologies in North America, and said Wincor Nixdorf isn't seeing any signs that it's slowing — despite the news from Albertsons and Kroger.
NCR Retail spokesman Cameron Smith echoed those sentiments, saying that analysts continue to predict strong growth in the sector and that NCR's own research confirms that idea.
"We certainly don't see any slowdown in interest from retailers," he said. "We continue to have great conversations with retailers around the world with regards to self-checkout and we're continuing to expand it in new markets frequently"
Smith also pointed out that Supervalu, which owns and operates nearly 500 Albertsons stores in western states, was quick to issue an announcement hot on the heels of the Albertsons LLC news that the Supervalu stores would be keeping their self-checkout lanes.
And a recent story on MSNBC.com said "self-checkout suppliers raked in $524.1 million worldwide in 2010, a 46 percent increase from 2007, according to technology research firm VDC Research Group, which projects growth of 84 percent over the next five years. As technology improves, self-checkout likely will migrate into store aisles as customers armed with smart phones use new apps to scan and pay for items on the spot."
Wincor Nixdorf sees four main drivers for continued adoption of self-service and self-checkout in retail, Wallace said: increased consumer choice, increased ease of use for consumers, speedier checkout times for consumer, and increased convenience for consumers.
And Wallace pointed to three macro trends he sees driving the market's continued growth globally
Canadian Tire, the 1,200-store general merchandise retailer, is testing both a personalized location-based mobile shopping application and an interactive product locator kiosk capable of reading QR codes and sending instant promotions to shoppers' smartphones.
The personal mobile shopping app delivers location-specific, relevant offers and information to members that opt in to the service from Bee Media. It is being tested at a Canadian Tire store located at Bay and Dundas Streets in Toronto.
"Bee Media is like having an extra staff member helping consumers while they are shopping," said Mark Barsanti, dealer for Canadian Tire at Bay and Dundas. "We are excited to offer our customers such an innovative service."
The digital product locator kiosk provides mapping tools that direct customers to products sold in the large-footprint Meadowvale Canadian Tire store, located in the Toronto metropolitan area. In addition, shoppers can digitally search the retailer's advertising flyer, search and locate products, scan QR codes and receive instant promotions sent to their smartphones.
The kiosk, from Jibestream Interactive Media, features a 42-inch touchscreen that can display video ads displayed in real time that are based on product search parameters. Accompanying software also provides full tracking and reporting for activity and trends.
"Canadian Tires are very large stores, with a lot of great stuff, and we're showing here how this technology lets shoppers easily, quickly find what they need, while also layering in technologies like mobile apps," said Chris Wiegand, COO of Jibestream in a statement. "Smartphone integration is a big part of future shopping, and we've already been applying that with several retail clients," he added.
In a recent Customer Engagement survey conducted by Retail TouchPoints, 64% of respondents agreed that customer engagement and satisfaction is a higher priority than other company concerns including cost reductions, supply chain optimization, domestic expansion and brand recognition.
For many retailers, supply chain optimization and employing efficient in-store strategies are key in developing a streamlined purchasing process. Although optimizing the shopping experience is important, companies are focused on engaging shoppers and converting them into loyal brand customers. In a recent Customer Engagement survey conducted by Retail TouchPoints, 64% of respondents agreed that customer engagement and satisfaction is a higher priority than other company concerns including cost reductions, supply chain optimization, domestic expansion and brand recognition.
Some other key survey findings include:
A majority of survey respondents (64%) reaffirmed the importance of employing a customer engagement strategy to retain existing customers, over acquiring new customers (44%).
Increasing brand loyalty also was a key topic of interest to 44% of retailers.
To maximize brand awareness, most retailers (64%) have employed a social media strategy to engage new and existing customers, and find it important to analyze platform conversions and respond to customer questions or complaints.
Retailers surveyed track and measure all CEM initiatives through customer analytics (66%) and social media monitoring (40%).
Overall, retailers found social media (50%), mobile technology (44%), and email marketing (50%) to be imperative engagement channels, while deploying in-store kiosks was least relevant (34%) related to current retail strategies.
Geo-Location Marketing, Social Commerce And Tablets On The Back Burner
Despite the increased discussion of cross-channel strategies and a seamless brand experience, 44% of survey respondents find cross-channel consistency unnecessary in engaging customers. Mobile and Facebook commerce were two particular trends overlooked by retailers, with more than 60% of respondents claiming they have no plans to adopt a branded mobile storefront, and nearly 55% saying a Facebook storefront or social shopping channel wouldn’t be executed. Location-based technology also was a minor player, with only 23.8% of retailers implementing a strategy. Respondents utilizing geo-location applications provide shoppers with incentives (73.3%) and targeted coupons (60%) to drive purchases and increase engagement.
Tablet devices and mobile POS systems are developing trends helping to optimize the in-store experience. Although retailers including Sprint and JCPenney have adopted the technology, almost 61% of respondents note they don’t anticipate using tablets, handheld computers, mobile POS, kiosks or smart phones for in-store strategies in the near term. Companies that are planning to utilize enterprise mobility in-store are focusing on smart phones (63.6%), tablet devices (54.5%), and mobile POS (45.5%) for brick and mortar engagement strategies.
To receive a complimentary copy of the complete Retail TouchPoints Customer Engagement Survey report, please complete the form below.
Interactive Vender Enters Beta Test Phase And Takes Center Stage In Spectrum Of Innovative Equipment Displayed At Chicago Show - writeup by Emily Jed of VendingTimes
Coca-Cola has kicked off the beta test of its Interactive Vender project with a second-generation machine showcased at the recent National Automatic Merchandising Association OneShow in Chicago. The beverage giant also unveiled a striking new thermoformed panel for its closed-front packaged beverage venders, and drew crowds for a close look at its touchscreen Freestyle fountain beverage dispenser.
The second-generation Coca-Cola Interactive Vender incorporates the same screen layout and functionality as the prototype, but officials described refinements to its inner workings as contributing to "a more robust, reliable and scalable solution." Coca-Cola launched its pilot test a year ago at Simon Property Group malls in the Southeast, and in other high-traffic public venues nationwide. The test machines have performed strongly and generated excitement by transforming the vending experience "from a functional transaction to a memorable interaction," reported Coca-Cola Refreshments vice-president of industry communications Ira Gleser.
Coca-Cola Refreshments, which encompasses the vending operations of recently acquired Coca-Cola Enterprises, is currently swapping out the initial test machines and replacing them with the second-generation model, which incorporates enhancements suggested by the first part of the trial.
It is also deploying additional machines into new test sites. The beta test will primarily target venues where younger consumers gather, since the pilot study identified them as the demographic most attracted to interactive technology. Coca-Cola will evaluate its future deployment strategies based on the results, Gleser explained.
The high-tech machine, developed by Coca-Cola, Samsung and interactive marketing agency Sapient, is based on the chassis of Royal Vendors' Model 804 and fitted with a 46" LCD touchscreen and a sophisticated controller providing multimedia functionality. Flash technology, motion graphics, high-definition video messaging and Bluetooth short-range wireless capability can support a broad spectrum of patron-pleasing features such as "click-through" promotions that allow consumers to interact with Coca-Cola brands and learn about location-specific promotions.
The machine's touchscreen panel is arranged into three media zones. A customizable dynamic display for advertising and related video content is at the top; beneath it is the selection zone, where consumers can scroll through a graphic product display of the machine's selections, and "spin" any bottle icon 360º to review nutritional information. At the bottom is an "interactive" application zone from which the consumer can "click through" to display a promotional message (and many other video programs) in the advertising zone at the top. Content for all three zones is updated remotely.
The state-of-the-art Coke vender provides a platform for applications ranging from games patrons can play on the machine's screen to mobile phone ringtone and "wallpaper" downloads, digital coupons and social networking. One such example, demonstrated at the NAMA OneShow, was a game that consumers activate by touching the "Memory Match" button in the machine's application zone. Filling the entire screen, the game challenges the patron to match pairs of Coca-Cola brand logos -- like the classic card game "Concentration" -- before time runs out.
Coca-Cola also plans to incorporate some of its high-profile marketing partnerships into the messaging for the Interactive Vender, Gleser told VT.
Consumer use of self-service coin kiosks in retail grocery stores is on the rise. Successful retailers have cashed in on self-service coin redemption, converting their customers' coin-saving habits to revenue-generating opportunities.
These retailers attribute their success to a fundamental understanding of how to best drive customers to the self-service coin kiosks in their store.
Cummins-Allison, the leading innovator and provider of coin and currency handling solutions, outlines below how retailers can build store traffic and increase in-store purchases, while improving profits, with self-service coin redemption.
Turn self-service coin redemption into profitability. Self-service coin machines are a profitability tool. Coin redemption fees provide a valuable source of additional revenue and customers feel that fees are justified by the convenience and features offered1.Consider selecting a self-service coin machine that allows you to control the coin redemption fee for greater profitability. Kiosks owned and operated by the retail store can net seven percent or more on each transaction.
Channeling your customers' savings habit. Seventy percent of U.S. households report that one or more people living in that home saves loose change by habit1. Retailers can tap into this regular part of customers' saving behaviors by placing a self-service coin machine in their store. A self-service coin machine can meet the needs of a high percentage of your customers who are saving coins and need a convenient way to cash in coins for potential spending inside your store. Research shows that 79 percent of consumers learn about self-service coin kiosks simply by walking by, so make sure your kiosk attracts attention through custom graphics and signage¹. Also consider investing in some low-cost marketing tactics, such as website and weekly circular promotion, cashier mentions to customers about the machines and coin-collecting partnerships with local charities or schools .
Putting disposable income in your customers' hands – immediately. Cash in-hand is the top motivator for customers to convert loose change into spendable dollars¹. In a recent study, 36 percent of participants surveyed spend the cash on general living expenses such as groceries1. An in-store self-service coin machine is an excellent way to increase sales revenue. Customers are also a captive audience while cashing in their coin – tap into this by promoting store specials or high-margin items through on-screen advertising on the kiosk.
Leverage store hours and frequent customer visits to make coin redemption convenient. Retail stores have two distinct advantages over other self-service coin redemption sites: longer store hours and more frequent store visits. Customers appreciate the convenience of redeeming coin and shopping in one trip. In fact, two-thirds of those consumers use the self-service coin machine located in their primary grocery store1. Consider including special promotions on coin redemption receipts for those who frequent the kiosk.
Remember, not all machines are created equal. When selecting a self-service coin redemption machine, it is important to keep the customer experience top-of-mind. More than 75 percent of customers prefer a machine that dispenses a cash payout immediately at the machine1. Other important features include high-speed processing, suspect coin detection and advanced debris management. Also, look for a kiosk which can be customized – including language options, video capabilities, custom screen displays and branded transaction receipts to enhance the retailer's brand.
Increase awareness among customers and commercial businesses. Since coin redemption is often an intermittent activity (most customers save coins for more than a year1), building service awareness requires consistency. Self-service coin machines must be placed in high-visibility, high-traffic areas. And, because customers are on very different coin-redemption cycles, retailers should invest in low-cost awareness building techniques that are frequent and reoccurring.
Retailers that successfully leverage these real world tips will be well-positioned to turn idle store space into a revenue driver.
For more information, visit www.cumminsallison.com/financial/self_service_coin.htm
¹ Top Six Drivers of Consumer Use of Self-Service Coin Machines by Branmark Strategy Group (2010)
Cummins-Allison is a global leader in developing technologies which count, sort and authenticate currency. The U.S.-based company has a 100-year heritage of leadership in technology and product innovation and currently serves the majority of financial institutions worldwide, as well as leading organizations in retail, casinos, law enforcement and government. The company holds more than 350 U.S. patents and has ongoing research and development (R&D) investments double the industry average. Cummins-Allison is headquartered near Chicago, IL with R&D centers near San Diego, CA and Philadelphia, PA and wholly owned subsidiaries in Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany and France. The company also has an extensive sales and service network with more than 50 offices in North America and is represented in over 70 countries. For more information, visit cumminsallison.com.
McDonald’s is to change the way customers order its meals in Europe, partly replacing cashiers and the use of banknotes at its 7,000 fast-food restaurants in the region with touchscreen terminals and swipe cards
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“Ordering food has not changed for 30 or 40 years,” said Steve Easterbrook, president of McDonald’s Europe, in an interview with the Financial Times.
The move is part of the fast-food chain’s efforts to woo cash-strapped customers by making its restaurants more convenient and convivial. It is refurbishing stores, and introducing longer opening hours and new menus.
PURCHASE, NY -- New from PepsiCo is the Social Vending System, a networked vending machine with large "full-touch" screen designed to enable consumers to connect with Pepsi brands (and one another) at the point of purchase. It made its debut in prototype at the National Automatic Merchandising Association's 2011 OneShow in Chicago
Novel features of the system include provisions for a patron to "gift" a friend by selecting a beverage, then entering the recipient's name, mobile phone number and a personal text message – and, if desired, a short video recorded at the machine. Standard text message rates apply for the "gifting" function.
The gift is delivered with a system code and instructions for redeeming it at any PepsiCo social vender. The recipient may thank the original sender by dispatching a gift in return, or "pay it forward" by presenting a beverage to someone else.
The machines are equipped for remote monitoring, giving operators the ability to manage inventory levels and schedule deliveries remotely. Digital content also can be updated online, allowing easy changing of messages and media content.
"Our vision is to use innovative technology to empower consumers and create new ways for them to engage with our brands, their social networks and each other at the point of purchase," said Mikel Durham, chief innovation officer at PepsiCo Foodservice. "Social vending extends our consumers' social networks beyond the confines of their own devices and transforms a static, transaction-oriented experience into something fun and exciting they'll want to return to, again and again."
Social vending also makes it possible to perform a "Random Act of Refreshment" by purchasing a drink for a stranger through any other Social Vending System. For example, a consumer could send a message of encouragement to someone in a city smitten by challenging weather, or a congratulatory beverage to a student whose college or university has just won a championship.
The Social Vending System was conceived by PepsiCo's newly formed Equipment Innovation group, whose task is to apply emerging technologies to the delivery of relevant brand experiences for consumers through equipment. The design and user interface were created in collaboration with Milwaukee, WI-based DCI Marketing and Protagonist of Venice, CA.
"Our approach to technology innovation is driven by what we know consumers want," explained PepsiCo vice-president of equipment innovation Christine Sisler. "We're working with some of the best minds in the business to develop equipment that provides customization, personalization and choice."
PepsiCo explained that it sees large, prestigious accounts like colleges, universities and malls as offering a good fit for social vending. Further development of the platform is ongoing; a limited consumer test is underway now, and PepsiCo plans to test the concept with key strategic partners later this year.
The company reports that it respects its customers' privacy: email addresses and phone numbers are not stored unless expressly permitted by a user. PepsiCo does not share contact information with any other partners.
There is currently a kiosk in the King of Prussia Mall outside Philadelphia, with plans for 13 more in malls along the East Coast and California by the end of the year.
MyBestFit is setting up kiosks in malls offering a free 20-second full-body scan to shoppers who get frustrated about the varying clothes sizes in different stores. You step into the booth, fully dressed, and then a “vertical wand” rotates around you, sending and receiving low power radio waves. After recording over 200,000 points of measurement, the software compares your body size to the specifications of the nearby clothing retailers. You can then create a Shopping Guide from the list of items that fit your body shape, filtering the results by brand, style, retailer or price.
The stores pay a fee when their products appear in the results but they can’t pay to be included in the results as these are based solely on fit. Some of the brands already signed up include Lee, Levi’s, DKNY Jeans, Eddie Bauer, Old Navy and Gap. There is currently a kiosk in the King of Prussia Mall outside Philadelphia, with plans for 13 more in malls along the East Coast and California by the end of the year.
ecoATM will be using Seiko printers according to Seiko. We are guessing they got them at a good price.
Award-Winning Designer Chooses Seiko Instruments' APU-9000-C Kiosk Printer For Automated eCycling Stations
May 5, 2011
Exceptional reliability, ease of integration was central to ecoATM's decision to implement printer within its eCycling green kiosks.
Seiko Instruments USA Inc. (SIU) Thermal Printer Division, http://www.siiprinters.com, a globally recognized leader in thermal printer technology recently announced that ecoATM, the San Diego, CA-based manufacturer of consumer electronics recycling kiosks, will use the Seiko Instruments APU-9000-C kiosk printer in their award-winning Automated eCycling Station.
ecoATM has gained significant attention as an innovative green retail solution. The company has been featured on the TODAY Show and in The New York Times; PowerSource Online has referred to ecoATM as a "new shift in electronics recycling." In addition to national media coverage, the green company has also garnered an impressive listing of industry awards, including: The International Electronics Recycling Conference Innovative Product of the Year; Coinstar Next Big Idea Award; GigaOM Green:Net LaunchPad Judge's Choice Award; and CONNECT's Most Innovative Product Award.
The ecoATM eCycling Station offers retailers a cost-free way to reward customers for recycling consumer electronics equipment. Customers place used portable electronics devices, such as mobile phones and MP3 players, in the eCycling kiosk. The kiosk then inspects the devices, provides an instant, real-time secondary market valuation, and prints coupons, gift cards, bar-coded adhesive labels and promotions for customers to redeem in the store. In December 2010, ecoATM also began testing take-back of other devices such as laptop computers, video games, and eReaders.
For printer qualification, ecoATM designers applied a rigorous test regimen to identify a model with exceptional reliability and performance, and negligible maintenance requirements. Broad printing flexibility was also needed to support receipts, coupons and promotions, and bar code labels, with varying media thicknesses. The Seiko Instruments APU-9000-C thermal kiosk printer met all of these challenges, not to mention the printer's ability to handle both receipts and bar code labels; ease of integration is also one of the printer's strong points.
"We evaluated a number of printers before deciding on the Seiko Instruments APU-9000," said John Beane, Vice President, Engineering, Founding Team, ecoATM. "The printer's ability to print receipts and bar-coded adhesive labels addressed our technical needs. Perhaps even more important is the simple design for paper loading and ease of maintenance. Seiko Instruments' reputation for reliability was also a critical factor in the decision."
"Our top-of-the-line APU-9000 kiosk printers were designed specifically for the demanding needs of unattended applications like the ecoATM eCycling Station," said Kaz Onishi, Vice President, Seiko Instruments USA. "As an ISO 14000-compliant company, we are extremely pleased to be included in this highly-innovative and environmentally-friendly kiosk application."
About Seiko Instruments Inc.
As a member of The Seiko Group, Seiko Instruments (SII) represents a globally recognized brand, embodying innovative design and precision manufacturing excellence. Founded in 1937, SII manufactures and markets electronic components, thermal and specialty printers, consumer electronics, communication and network technology, scientific instrumentation, and precision manufacturing technology. SII has a global presence, with more than 13,000 employees worldwide.
Based in San Diego, Calif., ecoATM is the first company to create an automated self-serve kiosk system that uses patented, advanced machine vision, electronic diagnostics, and artificial intelligence to evaluate and buy-back used electronics directly from consumers for cash or store credit. ecoATM's eCycling stations provide a convenient trade-in solution that:
electronically and/or visually inspects virtually any consumer electronic device,
connects consumers in real-time with a broad worldwide secondary market to ensure best pricing, and
pays consumers immediately in cash and/or store credit, and
automatically administers trade-in / trade-up promotions for retailers and manufacturers.
In its infancy, ecoATM was supported by EvoNexus, the incubator for early-stage high-tech companies begun by San Diego's high tech industry group, CommNexus. Since then, ecoATM has been recognized by Popular Science, International Electronics Recycling Conference & Expo (IERCE), CONNECT, Green:Net, CES Innovations, and others. For more information, visit www.ecoatm.com/about-awards.htm or www.ecoatm.com.
Seiko Instruments offers a complete solution lineup for kiosk printer, mobile printer, receipt printer, smart label printer applications. Information about Seiko instruments kiosk printers, mobile printers, portable printers, receipt printers, POS printers, point-of-sale printers, and thermal printer mechanisms can be found at http://www.siiprinters.com.
SOURCE: Seiko Instruments USA Inc.
The coin-operated kiosks operate in two ways, depending on how they are programmed. Some accept coins and then print and shoot out a ticket, listing an expiration time. T
Ready or Not, Parking Kiosks are Coming
Meters will stay on Kings Highway and Haddon Avenue.
By Renee Winkler | Email the author | May 5, 2011
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Love them or hate them, parking kiosks will replace parking meters in lots and along some streets in Haddonfield by summer’s end.
Haddon Avenue and Kings Highway will keep meters, said Sharon McCullough, borough administrator. The first kiosks will be installed on Tanner Street when a repaving operation is completed.
“Tanner Street will be the test, the trial,” McCullough said.
The coin-operated kiosks operate in two ways, depending on how they are programmed. Some accept coins and then print and shoot out a ticket, listing an expiration time. The ticket, after purchase, is placed on the dashboard of a car. Rates will be 25 cents for 30 minutes. There is no left-over time to be used by another driver.
The other type of kiosk allows motorists to pay for a specific numbered parking space for time he chooses. That type eliminates the need for the motorist to return to his car with the validated ticket, but it requires the motorist to make a note of the space number. A second driver may sometimes pull into the space for the duration of the time.
Frank Mazza, whose Towne Barber Shop has been a feature on Tanner Street for 44 years, said he feels the kiosks will be just another expense for people already struggling in the economy.
“Business on this street has been hurting. This is one more cost,” said Mazza, who also operates a beauty salon on the second floor at 23 Tanner Streeet. “It makes it more expensive for everybody.”
“What do we need something new for? It’s a way for the town to make more money. With the meters someone else could pull in. Now they have to pay. It’s all about money for the town.
“The jobs that were here aren’t here anymore. Businesses closed and those customers moved on. Some store owners had to move because of the taxes. It’s tough out here,’’said Mazza.
There will be no five- or 12-minute grace period like now available on many of the borough’s meters. That feature was welcomed by motorists who needed to dart into a store or office to drop off or pick up an item.
“I’ll continue to keep a stack of quarters here,” said Gary Okulanis, who has operated American Classic Cabinet Company, L.L.C. for 11 years at 50 Tanner Street.
“It won’t hurt us. It won’t have any effect,” said Okulanis. “Our customers come here for an appointment. It’s a destination, and they come for two or three hours,” he said.
He said customers who visit his shop for two or three hours, usually to drop off samples, will adjust. “It’s the way parking is today,” Okulanis said.
Collette Oswald, whose photography studio is at 40 Tanner Street, wasn’t so blasé about the parking fee plan. “It’s confusing to some people. I don’t understand the motivation behind the change, but I’m not going to get all upset about it.”
Oswald said she supports the current practice of five or 12 minutes of free time, which is enough to park and drop off a package. She said she’s much more concerned about the lack of progress on paving Tanner Street, now afflicted, she said, “by potholes that are enough to kill a car.”
McCullough said the borough has authorized payment of $225,000 to purchase the meters. A supplier has not been chosen. The kiosks will be an outright purchase, not a lease, and the manufacturer will have to provide maintenance.
“We have the ability to partner in a consortium with Collingswood, but we want to be sure that’s the best plan,” she said.
The kiosks need less maintenance than meters. Each year, when the borough bags the top of meters during the Christmas shopping season for weeks of free parking, moisture builds up in the metal frame, causing condensation and often some damage. Batteries also need to be replaced regularly, McCullough said.
The borough’s meters were updated five or six years ago. Parking fees in the town generate $178,000 a year.
In addition to maintenance costs, a borough employee dedicates one day a week to collect the payments, tabulate them, and deposit them. The rest of the week, that employee, Steve Collins, works as the water meter foreman.
Kiosks on the street will be placed at every seven to 10 spaces. Two or three kiosks will be installed in borough lots, depending on the size of the lot, McCullough said.
The change from meters to kiosks will not effect the borough’s parking enforcement official, McCullough said. That employee now is also responsible for meter maintenance.
Once installed, the kiosks will be used for about 75 percent of the borough’s parking spots, including 500 in lots. No spaces will be eliminated.
Motorists pay to park in the business district Monday through Friday until 6 p.m. Hours are shortened on the portion of Haddon Avenue near the post office because of higher traffic during rush hours.
Motorists do not have to pay to park on weekends.
Haddonfield now has three grades of parking fees. Some meters, for short-term stays, are 5 cents for 7 minutes and 10 or 25 cents for 15 minutes. Five minutes are free with a push of a button on the meter.
Mid-term parking is available at some meters for up to three hours at 5 cents for 6 minutes, 10 cents for 12 minutes, and 25 cents for 30 minutes. There is a 12-minute grace period.
For long term parking, up to 12 hours, the rate is 5 cents for 12 minutes, 10 cents for 24 minutes, and 25 cents per hour.
Kraft Foods is completing the beta test phase of its revolutionary Diji-Touch snack vending machine this month, and by all accounts it has passed with flying colors. The next step will be a pilot of a fine-tuned version of the machine by selected operators throughout the U.S., after which it will be ready for full commercialization.
The interactive touchscreen vender, developed by Kraft in partnership with Crane Merchandising Systems, Samsung and ad agency Digitas, made its debut at the National Automatic Merchandising Association's 2009 Spring Expo in Las Vegas.
Very nice article with video showing entire wine purchase process. Article also provides excellent data on breakeven.
It’s late afternoon Thursday heading into the weekend. A perfect time to buy a bottle of Chardonnay or a pinot noir.
Or, maybe not. Shoppers at the Giant Foods off of Linglestown Road in Susquehanna Twp. wheel their carts past the massive Pronto Wine Kiosks operated by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. Most don’t bat an eye at the unassuming oversized refrigerators.
View full sizeJOE HERMITT, The Patriot-News, file
Robin Atwood-Fidler of Carlisle purchases a bottle of Yellow Tail during the first day of sales for the wine dispenser located at Wegman's in Silver Spring Township.
Not the mothers commanding their children to walk. Not the grandmothers, the fellow in the U.S. Army fatigues, the workman just off his shift or the young woman wearing blue scrubs.
They are not enticed by the Sutter Home White Zinfandel for $8.99, the Fish Eye Pinot Grigio for $4.99 or the Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling for $9.99.
In fact, business is better at the nearby in-store Members 1st Federal Credit Union. The Pennsylvania Lottery machine isn’t doing so badly either.
But the wine kiosks? Everyone bypasses the opportunity to buy wine in a Pennsylvania supermarket, with the exception of one shopper — Carly Wismer of Susquehanna Twp.
She is the only person in two hours to purchase wine. She selects a 1.5 liter bottle of Sutter Home Chardonnay for $11.99. It’s about the fifth time she’s used the wine kiosk.
She’s not intimidated by the camera mounted on the machine, the fact she has to breathe into a Breathalyzer and hear a chirpy computerized woman’s voice leading her step-by-step through the purchasing process.
“I’m not a tech person but I like things quick and simple,” Wismer says.
The LCB could use more customers like Wismer. Sales at the state’s 32 wine kiosks in supermarkets around the state are falling behind expectations.
The agency has said the kiosks each need to sell an average 300 bottles a week for the program to succeed.
The kiosks were launched last summer to make it easier for consumers to do one-stop shopping and pick up their bottle of wine while at the grocery store. But not without a few hiccups. Right before Christmas last year the LCB shut down the kiosks due to mechanical problems.
Before the snafu, the kiosk at Giant sold an average of 164 bottles per week from June through mid-December, according to records provided by the LCB. Sales have dropped in half since they went back online in January.
Sales at the kiosk in Wegmans on the Carlisle Pike in Silver Spring Twp. have also dropped in the first few months of this year, although sales were brisk the week before Easter.
The local wine kiosks are doing much better than some other machines around the state.
At the Shop ‘n Save in Gibsonia six bottles of wine sold the week of April 11 and 9 bottles were dispensed the week of April 18. The Giant Eagle in New Kensington sold 16 bottles the week of April 11 and 12 bottles during the week of April 4.
Wine dispenser open for business at Wegmans
pen for business at Wegmans
The LCB’s chief executive officer Joe Conti has admitted the kiosks are under performing.
“If we could get them to do it 50 times a day in every location it would be a great deal for the Commonwealth because that’s the break even number,” he said at a recent hearing sponsored by the Law and Justice Committee.
The agency is taking measures to boost sales. Last week it announced a pilot program to sell liquor alongside wine in grocery store kiosks to keep pace with customers’ demands and make kiosks more profitable.
That concept is drawing criticism from religious advocacy groups, union leaders and legislators. Stephen Drachler, executive director of United Methodist Advocacy in Pennsylvania, called the program “the wrong idea at the wrong time” and said it sends young adults an inappropriate message.
Shoppers like Ryesha Pitts of Harrisburg admire the wine kiosks, although she’s never purchased wine from them. She said they are a better fit for wine than bottles of run and vodka.
“I don’t think that should be in a grocery store. Yeah, wine you can have a nice glass of wine with your dinner,” she said.
The kiosks caught the attention of Jeff and Kim Robinson of Linglestown as they stopped by the Giant for a few groceries. They’d never noticed the machines before. Jeff Robinson attempted to open one of the locked kiosk doors. No luck.
“I thought it was a humidor for cigars. It’s all wooden cases in a temperature controlled environment,” he said.
They said they prefer to make wine and liquor purchases in a liquor store, not through a machine that asks for identification and requires a Breathalyzer.
“Now it’s a headache. It’s not a convenience,” Jeff Robinson said.
Perhaps, the LCB needs to market the kiosks to busy moms like Lisa Aaron of Lower Paxton Twp. She’s used the machines several times to purchase wine, mostly on the weekends for dinner parties and gatherings. She’s sold on them for the convenience factor.
SALES PER WEEK
Wine kiosks went offline for repairs between mid-December and late January. The glitch has been fixed, but sales have slumped in recent months.
Giant in Susquehanna Township:
164 bottles per week from June through mid-December
83 per week from late January through April
Wegmans in Silver Spring Township:
250 bottles per week from June through mid-December
168 bottles per week from late January through April
Source: Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board
Successful Pilot With SUPERVALU Gift Cards Leads to 1,000 Store Rollout
BELLEVUE, WA--(Marketwire - May 2, 2011) - Coinstar, Inc.(NASDAQ: CSTR) and SUPERVALU INC. (NYSE: SVU) today announced an agreement that will allow SUPERVALU customers to cash in their coins for free when they choose the SUPERVALU gift card option at the Coinstar® kiosk. The no fee option will be available in approximately 1,000 stores across the country including: ACME®, ALBERTSONS®, FARM FRESH®, HORNBACHER'S® , JEWEL-OSCO®, LUCKY®, SHAWS/STAR Market®, SHOP N'SAVE® and SHOPPERS®.
"We are very pleased with the results of the pilot program with Coinstar and look forward to a program expansion starting in June," said Mark Schumacher, SUPERVALU's director of financial services. "This agreement provides our customers the opportunity to receive the full value of their coins with no fees when they choose the gift card option."
SUPERVALU and Coinstar began their collaboration on the gift card project in January 2010 in approximately 78 Albertsons stores located in Washington and Oregon.
"We're delighted to be moving forward on this exciting new project with SUPERVALU and look forward to maximizing the potential increase in both trips and shopping basket size at SUPERVALU stores," said Mike Skinner, president of Coinstar's Coin business. "There's approximately $10 billion in coins across the U.S. waiting to be converted, and this gives consumers a compelling option for turning those coins into something of great value."
Coinstar's fee free coin counting service allows consumers to put the full value of their change onto a gift card or eCertificate from a variety of national retailers. Now, consumers can choose the SUPERVALU gift card option at the Coinstar kiosks located in SUPERVALU chains across the United States. For information regarding fee free coin counting and kiosk locations, visit www.coinstar.com.
About Coinstar, Inc.
Coinstar, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSTR) is a leading provider of automated retail solutions offering convenient services that make life easier for consumers and drive incremental traffic and revenue for retailers. The company's core automated retail businesses include the well-known redbox® self-service DVD rental and Coinstar® self-service coin-counting brands. The company has approximately 31,800 DVD kiosks and 18,800 coin-counting kiosks in supermarkets, drug stores, mass merchants, financial institutions, convenience stores, and restaurants. For more information, visit www.coinstarinc.com.
About SUPERVALU INC.
SUPERVALU INC. is one of the largest companies in the U.S. grocery channel with annual sales of approximately $38 billion. SUPERVALU serves customers across the United States through a network of approximately 4,294 stores composed of 1,114 traditional retail stores, including 805 in-store pharmacies; 1,280 hard-discount stores, of which 899 are operated by licensee owners; and 1,900 independent stores serviced primarily by the company's traditional food distribution business. SUPERVALU has approximately 140,000 employees. For more information about SUPERVALU visit www.supervalu.com.
NCR is now offering vending machines to CD, DVD and video game retailers, Bloomberg reports.
CR Corp, which competes with video rental kiosks from Coinstar's Redbox, is now offering vending machines to CD, DVD and video game retailers.
Bloomberg reports that NCR ( NCR - news - people ) declined to say which retailers it might work with.
NCR operates DVD rental machines under the Blockbuster ( BBI - news - people ) Express brand, leased from Blockbuster, which is working on a Chapter 11 reorganization.
Meantime, Blockbuster said in court filings yesterday it plans to cancel leases on 150 U.S. stores, and to simply abandon any property left in the building.