Customer Checkout Getting Easier, Faster, Smarter with IBM Retail Systems

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ARMONK, N.Y. - 17 Jan 2012: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced retail technology aimed at empowering "bricks-and-mortar" retailers to claim their place at the center of the newest multichannel shopping trends.  The technology is part of a growing number of IBM Smarter Commerce offerings designed to enable consumers to do inside a store anything they can do remotely using laptops, cell phones or other types of shopping devices.

"The popularity and acceptance of e-commerce, mobile devices, and social media continues to explode around us, but customers tell us that the store remains the best means for retailers to communicate with shoppers and offer them a positive brand experience," said Steve Ladwig, general manager, IBM Retail Store Solutions. "The new line of IBM smarter checkout offerings allows retailers to deliver timely, relevant information, products and services to multiple points of commerce. Simply, transforming the traditional transaction process to give the customer a seamless experience across all touch points puts stores on par with the speed and convenience shoppers enjoy through purely on-line or mobile channels. Plus, with the investments retailers are making in analytics and next-best action capabilities, smarter checkout should enhance their ability to act on customer insights."

According to a recent IBM Institute of Business Value (IBV) study, retailers are struggling to stay profitable, productive and competitive while trying to satisfy and retain a new breed of customers who are more price conscious and demanding -- consumers who expect to engage with brands when and how they want through multiple integrated channels such as the web, mobile, social media, and the phone, remotely as well as in the traditional retail store.  The survey also indicated that consumers consider the traditional store their number one place to shop.  In addition to normal shopping, important parts of e-commerce or mobile transactions still occur at the store, such as pick-up, return, and other in-store services, with 85 percent of purchase decisions made in the store.

The Winn-Dixie supermarket chain is among a number of IBM clients using IBM retail technology to "revolutionize" customer checkout and expand brand loyalty programs.  Winn-Dixie is known for using technology to support health and fresh guests' selections and other business strategies that help transform customer service, speed innovation and increase operational efficiency at its 484 store locations and other store formats across the Southeastern United States.  Based in Jacksonville, Florida, the retailer is deploying a network of IBM SurePOS™ 700 systems as part of a plan to build smarter retail stores across the entire operation, from point-of-sale to enterprise. 

"This new technology will help introduce services quickly and seamlessly to improve our guests' shopping experience," said Maura Hart, Winn-Dixie group vice president and CIO.

IBM offers retailers immersive, service-oriented, profit-generating technology that supports the newest trends, from mobile shopping to remote management, to easy to wake "deep sleep" power automation for service on demand.  Its next generation store operating platform, IBM 4690 OS, Version 6.3, provides retailers proven, industry-leading technology capable of taking customer service and in-store transformation to entirely new levels.  It includes flexible and dynamic Java6 and Firefox browser capabilities that expand checkout functionality, and open up third-party and cross-channel sales opportunities to help make the point-of-sale a new profit center, while managing business complexity and risk.

The IBM SurePOS 700™ Series brings the power and high-performance that retailers need to handle demanding customer service solutions and deliver deeper, more profitable relationships. A choice of configurations and new designs make the system easy to place in more retail environments than ever before.

The new IBM SurePOS 300™ Series is for retailers who need a versatile point-of-sale system for smaller spaces, and need advanced technology to drive high-demand store solutions with the lowest possible risk and cost. Now available for the first time with IBM 4690 OS, the IBM SurePOS 300™ makes it easy for retailers of all sizes to make checkout smarter and more profitable.

IBM is the world's number one point-of-sale solution provider, offering clients rugged, rock-solid systems that provide virtually tool-free serviceability for around-the-clock performance.  IBM's powerful SurePOS 700™, SurePOS 300™ systems, 4690 Operating System, and select IBM System x™ and BladeCenter™ servers, support existing store systems and peripherals, as well as allow retailers to deploy new technology with close to plug-and-play efficiency.

The new products will be available worldwide during first half 2012.

About IBM
For additional information about IBM Smarter Checkout solutions, visit:

IBM, SurePOS 700™, SurePOS 300™, 4690 Operating System, System x™, and BladeCenter™ are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries.

Other company products are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies in the U.S. and/or other countries.   

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