TECHNOLOGY

Walgreens enhances store operations with handhelds

BY Dan Berthiaume

Walgreens is equipping store associates with mobile devices to streamline front- and back-end activities.

The drugstore giant is running assisted selling and inventory management applications on Zebra’s Android-based ET50 tablet and TC51 mobile computers in its more than 9,500 stores across the U.S. Store associates utilize Zebra’s mobile computers and tablets to perform tasks such as checking planograms, looking up product information, and setting up orders for home or direct-to-store delivery. By increasing the speed and ease with which employees can complete tasks, the mobile devices help free up more time for personalized customer interactions.

“Every customer has a unique need when shopping, so each experience needs to be personalized for it to be successful,” said Steve Turner, chief CIO and senior VP, Walgreens. “Zebra’s mobile solutions make it easy and frictionless for our team members to complete store management tasks and assist shoppers, so that we can focus on delivering the best possible experience for customers every time.”

Walgreens is following in the footsteps of 103-year-old department store retailer Bealls, which recently armed associates across all its stores with Zebra TC51 mobile computers. The devices enable users to fulfill online orders with store inventory, conduct more accurate and speedy price markdowns, and assist shoppers on the sales floor. Since adding the system, Bealls now makes markdowns 25% to 35% faster, as well as giving store associates more time to assist shoppers and shortening the time it takes shoppers to retrieve online orders.

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