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The Future of Retailing

Self-service POS

Our editor in chief, Armin Amio, was at the annual convention of the US National Retail Federation in New York and witnessed HP’s unveiling of technologies meant to redefine the retail shopping experience. She filed this story and photos.

The Future of Retailing

By Armin A. Amio
Editor in Chief


How will the future retail store look like? A lot different than what we are used to—if technology powerhouse Hewlett-Packard (HP) will have its way.

At the annual convention of the National Retail Federation in New York, HP unveiled a gamut of products and solutions that actually attempt to break a shopping pattern that goes back more than 100 years. No more cash registers and passive tarps and banners. Think mobile point of sale (POS) devices, self-service POS, digital signage and interactive kiosks—all meant to please the tech-savvy customers.

Interactive store display

“Customers are increasingly sophisticated, and HP’s new solutions provide retailers with efficient and compelling ways to engage customers throughout their entire shopping experience—from home, on the go and in the store,” said Ray Carlin, vice president for retail solutions global business unit. “Our ongoing investments in comprehensive software and hardware solutions enable our retailer-customers to differentiate themselves from the competition, build customer loyalty and ultimately help grow their bottom line.”

Carlin said today’s shoppers are time-starved, well informed and have higher expectations of retailers, are less loyal and empowered by price transparency. He noted that HP aims to capitalize on its technological experience to deliver a more seamless experience to the shopper.

Endless aisle

The products and solutions announced at the convention include:

  • New solutions for self-checkout counters for both large and small retailers,
  • Imaging Barcode Scanner, which reads 1-D and 2-D barcodes printed or displayed on mobile devices, and captures images;
  • LCD digital signage displays, ranging from 42 to 47 inches diagonally with embedded HP Media Sign Player technology that enables plug-and-play convenience for dynamic digital advertising.
  • A new independent software vendor program for large retailers in the enterprise digital signage and interactive in-store media markets, offered by HP with industry-leading software companies.
  • Large format printers that support retail enterprises.


Barcode scanner system

The scanner is planned to be available in the United States, Canada and Latin America beginning this month, with worldwide availability to follow. The Digital Signage Displays are expected to be available starting February 1 in the United States, Canada and Latin America and in March in the Asia-Pacific and Japan region.

These technologies, Carlin said, aim to differentiate the shopping experience by making it exciting and interesting, highly productive and allow client retention by capturing the selling transaction and personalize the experience for the customer—in order for the whole process to start all over again.