Urban Outfitters Deploys Mobile POS Chainwide by Holiday 2011

Urban Outfitters is moving aggressively to deploy the mobile POS technology it has been testing. "Mobile POS is now in 107 stores, with plans to be in all stores by the beginning of the holiday," said CEO Glen Senk during a recent conference call.

Coming during the same week that home improvement retailer Lowe's announced its planned deployment of 42,000 mobile devices, Urban Outfitters' decision to expand its use of mobile POS is another indication of mobility's momentum in the retail industry. Lowe's devices do not currently include point-of-sale functionality, although its executives indicated that they may add functionalities to their devices in the future.

Urban began working with mobile technology vendor Starmount in mid-2010, and Senk confirmed the retailer was piloting the use of mobile POS devices in its stores in March 2011. The devices use Apple iPod Touch hardware outfitted with a sled containing a magnetic stripe reader and barcode scanner, and they run the Starmount Engage application that integrates customer engagement and clienteling functions to enhance the customer experience.

Urban Outfitters operates stores under multiple banners, with 180 Urban stores in the U.S., Canada and Europe, 160 Anthropologie and 51 Free People stores, along with catalogs and websites. Company executives did not specify whether the mobile technology would be used in its non-Urban Outfitters brands, but the limited time frame for the rollout makes it likely it will be limited to Urban Outfitters for now.

For related content see: Mobile Gets Urban-ized

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