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Redefining the Usual

BY CSA STAFF

The 11th annual KioskCom Conference & Expo held in Las Vegas, April 25-27, featured an innovative collection of kiosks that are currently shaping the world of commerce. However, there were two specific interactive experiences that created the most buzz on the show floor.

Polo Ralph Lauren, which took home “Best in Show” and “Best Retail Deployment” prizes at the 2007 KioskCom’s Self Service Excellence Awards event on April 25, brought window-shopping to a new level at its Chicago-based Michigan Avenue flagship store. The interactive program, which was available to the public between November 2006 and mid-February 2007, allowed customers to shop any time from outside of the store with a touch of a hand.

A transparent foil applied directly to the glass powered the touchscreen. A rear-projection screen was then used to complete the 67-in. through-window touch-shopping experience. Shoppers placed orders by tapping the interactive window. Purchases were fulfilled by www.polo.com.

“Featuring the latest in our RLX high-performance gear, the interactive window transported its users from the bustling streets of Chicago to the serene slopes of Aspen,” the company said.

Also available to consumers were a range of other features, such as live weather and ski-condition reports, interactive trail maps and footage from the latest ski videos.

Meanwhile, a unit from East Granby, Conn.-based Smart Auto Management (SAM) also generated strong attention on the conference floor. The unit, which was a finalist in the “Best New Innovation in a Kiosk Deployment” category, is the newest way to keep motorists in the know about their car’s diagnostics. Rather than wonder why their vehicle’s “check engine” warning light is on or feel uneasy if the timing feels a little off, drivers no longer have to make a special, often pricey visit to their mechanic. Now drivers can just see SAM.

When drivers pull up to a SAM kiosk, an instructional video will guide them through a simple four-step process. First, drivers swipe a credit card. Then, they grab a detachable handheld barcode scanner to scan the vehicle identification number (VIN) located in the car. Drivers then connect a dedicated port to the vehicle’s On Board Diagnostic system (OBD) and the system scans the vehicle. Within 10 minutes, the unit prints a comprehensive, easy-to-understand report that identifies any existing or potential problems with the vehicle’s engine, transmission, safety systems, body or chassis. The system checks more than 2,000 fault codes to give drivers the same information an auto mechanic or dealership receives. The service costs $15.

“SAM gives drivers peace of mind by having access to their vehicle’s OBD system in a way they never had before,” said Todd Silvestri, president of Smart Auto Management LLC, a subsidiary of Environmental Systems Product Holdings Inc., after the show. “Some people drive without knowing what’s wrong with their car and some don’t even want to find out because they’re afraid of the bill. Also, buyers may be hesitant to purchase a used car in fear of its true condition.”

“With SAM, drivers can make informed decisions that can impact vehicle maintenance costs and safety,” he said. “It’s a great first step for motorists to get their vehicle repaired. A lot of repair shops out there want informed customers. They don’t want to deal with those who are skeptical and think they might be cheated.”

SAM kiosks are currently located at automotive-care and emission testing-center locations across Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Raleigh, N.C., and Northern California, and will be followed by a national rollout. Current SAM partner locations include select DEKRA; Jiffy Lube; Kwik Kar and Kwik Kar Lube and Tune; and Speed-emissions locations, as well as certain gas stations in Northern California.

Auto racecar champion and SAM spokesman Mario Andretti made appearances at select locations in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and Raleigh in February. Motorists received a photo-keepsake autograph and a complimentary SAM report on their vehicle.

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A.Walstab says:
Apr-08-2013 02:10 am

I really hope I could see it
I really hope I could see it for real as I went to Shutter Cleaning Orange County for some attainments. Shopping is my favorite pastime with my friends or mother.

A.Walstab says:
Apr-08-2013 02:10 am

I really hope I could see it for real as I went to Shutter Cleaning Orange County for some attainments. Shopping is my favorite pastime with my friends or mother.

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Sears comps hurt by energy costs

BY CSA STAFF

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. Sears Holdings today reported net income of $216 million, or $1.40 per diluted share, for the first quarter ended May 5, compared with net income of $180 million, or $1.14 per diluted share, for the first quarter ended April 29, 2006.

“In part, our domestic operating results reflect the impact of some of the same challenges being faced by our customers, such as rising energy costs and a slower housing market,” said Aylwin Lewis, Sears Holdings’ ceo and president. “However, as an organization, we need to overcome these factors by better controlling costs and developing innovative solutions that better meet our customers’ needs and allow us to generate a more reasonable level of profitability even in the face of such challenges.”

Domestic comparable-store sales declined 3.9% during the first quarter of fiscal 2007. Sears domestic comparable-store sales declined 3.4% for the quarter, while Kmart comparable-store sales declined 4.4%. We believe these declines reflect both increased competition and the impact of external factors such as rising energy costs, a slower housing market and poor weather conditions during the latter part of the first quarter of fiscal 2007. Kmart experienced lower transaction volumes across most merchandise categories, most notably within home goods, health and beauty products, and food and consumables. Similarly, Sears domestic recorded comparable-store sales declines across most merchandise categories and formats, with a notable decline in home appliance sales, which we believe reflects both a slower U.S. housing market and the impact of increased competition.

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Big Lots 1Q net sales up 3.4%

BY CSA STAFF

COLUMBUS, Ohio Big Lots today reported first quarter fiscal 2007 income from continuing operations of $29 million, or 26 cents per diluted share, compared to income from continuing operations of $14.5 million, or 13 cents per diluted share, in the first quarter of fiscal 2006. Including the impact of discontinued operations, first quarter fiscal 2007 net income totaled $28.8 million, or 26 cents per diluted share, compared to $13.7 million, or 12 cents per diluted share, in the prior year.

Net sales for the first quarter ended May 5, increased 3.4% to $1.13 billion, compared to $1.1 billion for the same period in fiscal 2006. Comparable-store sales for stores open at least two years at the beginning of the fiscal year increased 4.9% for the quarter.

For the second quarter 2007, the company expects income from continuing operations of 7 cents to 10 cents per share versus income from continuing operations of 4 cents per share last year. Comparable-store sales are expected to increase 2% to 4%, compared to a 5.2% comparable-store sales increase recorded last year.

For fiscal 2007, the company expects income from continuing operations of $1.25 to $1.30 per share versus income from continuing operations of $1.01 per share last year.

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