Magazine Article | August 1, 2002

Home Depot Improves Its Home With Wireless POS

Source: Innovative Retail Technologies

Integrated Solutions For Retailers, August 2002

Home Depot's (Atlanta) do-it-yourself business came with a price - long lines. Around gift-giving holidays or at the first sign of warm weather, Home Depot customers could expect long lines at the checkout. This caused customer frustration and some abandoned shopping carts. In a move to better serve customers and provide a more pleasant shopping experience, Home Depot rolled out 360Commerce's (Austin, TX) Unleashed application, which the retailer calls the "rapid register." The rollout was to all of the Home Depot's 1,350 stores and occurred over the course of only a couple of months. Using Unleashed, employees equipped with a wireless mobile device can scan customer purchases while they wait in line and then suspend the transaction for retrieval and completion at the register. This added step dramatically reduced the amount of time customers spent in line. According to Home Depot, an added bonus was being able to provide this service without replacing existing technology.

Multifunction Wireless Applications
The 360Store Unleashed application is 360Commerce's response to retailers who have expressed the need to reduce checkout lines during peak times and bring POS functionality to customers regardless of space limitations. It can be deployed on a variety of JVM (Java virtual machine)-enabled wireless devices, including Symbol 1700 and 1800 series handhelds and wireless-enabled cash registers such as Wincor Nixdorf's Beetle/Mobile POS units. Home Depot saw an increase in efficiency due to the dual nature of the wireless system. Not only were they able to use its existing technology, but they were also able to use associates for multiple purposes. This was important to the project's ROI. In addition to 360Commerce's Unleashed mobile POS application, Home Depot also uses its mobile cart units for a signage application that prints shelf labels, inventory management functions, and to make store associates more available to assist customers and answer questions. And according to Danny Branch, VP of information systems at Home Depot, the system paid for itself within the first year.