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Tesco pilots new, high-speed retail checkout solution

BY Marianne Wilson

London — British grocery giant Tesco is seeking to improve the customer checkout experience by piloting a new, high-speed retail checkout solution from NCR Corp. at its Tesco Extra 24-hour store in Lincoln, U.K. The solution uses innovative imaging technology from Datalogic that automatically finds the barcode on any side of the product without the need to orient the item on the conveyor belt. It is capable of scanning up to 60 items per minute, greatly speeding the transaction.

The Tesco Extra store has deployed four units. Each unit allows three shoppers to pack and pay at the same time. The solution is designed to reduces queuing, allowing customers to get out of the store more quickly, by increasing the rate at which items are scanned, packed and paid. It also allows customers to decide how they wish to use it and proceed at their own pace without the pressure of another customer waiting to check out. Customers can complete their shopping transaction using cash or payment cards, as well as scan their Tesco Clubcard or utilize coupons.

“We are always looking for innovative ways to support our colleagues to give great service and to improve the shopping experience for our customers,” said Nigel Fletcher, director, Tesco U.K. “We’re looking forward to seeing what our customers in Lincoln think of the new checkouts over the coming weeks and months.”

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BIA/Kelsey: U.S. social media ad revenues to hit $15 billion by 2018

BY Marianne Wilson

Chantilly, Va. — Social media advertising revenues in the United States will grow from $5.1 billion in 2013 to $15 billion in 2018, for a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24%, according to BIA/Kelsey’s latest U.S. Social Local Media Forecast. This year represents the greatest year-over-year jump in social media ad revenues, growing to $8.4 billion in 2014, largely due to increases in mobile and native advertising.

According to the forecast, U.S. social display ad revenues will grow from $3.3 billion in 2013 to $5.6 billion in 2018. During the same period, U.S. native social advertising, spurred primarily by Facebook’s News Feed ads and Twitter’s Promoted Tweets, will surge to $9.4 billion in 2018, up from $1.8 billion in 2013 (CAGR: 38.6%). In 2015, BIA/Kelsey expects native social advertising will eclipse social display for the first time.

The forecast also reveals social advertising revenues by platform: desktop and mobile. Driven by Facebook and Twitter, U.S. social mobile ad revenues eclipsed $1.5 billion in 2013. U.S. social mobile ad revenues will reach $7.6 billion by 2018 (CAGR: 38.3%), surpassing social desktop for the first time.

“We were initially skeptical about the social-mobile market’s ability to capture optimal wallet share because of mobile’s limitations, such as smaller screen size, limited ad inventory and static creative,” said Jed Williams, VP, consulting, BIA/Kelsey. “Over the past year, however, Facebook, Twitter and other networks have generated dramatic revenue growth, primarily as a function of mobile ad acceleration and largely through natively integrated mobile ad formats. We expect this growth to continue throughout the forecast period.”

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Report: Conflict of interest may endanger Signet-Zale acquisition

BY Dan Berthiaume

Dallas – A previously undisclosed conflict of interest may endanger the proposed $1.4 billion purchase of jewelry retailer Zale Corp. by rival Signet Jewelers. According to the New York Times, Bank of America, which represented Zale in talks with Signet, failed to disclose it had made an unsolicited presentation to Signet in October 2013 where it advised Signet to consider purchasing Zale.

The deal, under which Zale stockholders would receive $21.00 per share in cash, has been unanimously approved by the Zale board of directors. Zale’s investor TIG Advisors LLC has called the deal "grossly unfair," saying the jewelry retailers should be able to get $28.60 a share in cash and stock.

In a statement on May 15, Zale said there is “significant risk and uncertainty” to its own turnaround plan, which was designed as a stretch plan to challenge management if the chain were it to remain independent.

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