CompUSA Enhances Interactive Displays

By Alan Wolf On Mar 12 2010 - 9:57am




MIAMI — CompUSA, which last year introduced interactive in-store displays for TVs, PCs and monitors, has extended that functionality to portable navigation devices, cellphones, MP3 players, cameras and other handheld devices as the Systemax-owned chain continues to enhance its “Retail 2.0” concept.

The Internet-based platform allows in-store customers to access price and product information — and even browse competitors’ Web sites — from dedicated display screens that are adjacent to the product. Shoppers can also receive detailed price and product information for a wide range of SKUs via Internet-connected, scanner-equipped displays that are scattered throughout Retail 2.0 stores.

In CompUSA’s next-generation Retail 2.1 stores, handheld devices will be connected to the system via a tethered “waterfall” display that allows customers to hold and demo each item. Lifting a device from its cradle activates a central screen that provides detailed product information to customers, as well as data on browsing behavior to Systemax. Upgraded stores will typically feature five of the displays.

The concept has helped boost sales of handhelds by 40 percent, said Gilbert Fiorentino, chief executive of the Systemax Technology Products Group, which includes CompUSA, CircuitCity.com and TigerDirect.

In addition, screen layouts have been simplified from their previous Web page formats, he said, and will be leveraged across all of the more than 200 display screens found in Retail 2.0 and 2.1 stores.

CompUSA has also developed a proprietary end-cap display for Microsoft software products that features an interactive touchscreen, and could be licensed to other companies.

“The Internet is driving store innovation,” Fiorentino told TWICE. “We are perfecting Retail 2.0 with more touch screens, hands-on product and Internet capabilities, and greater communication of promotions to our in-store customers.”

CompUSA currently operates 31 stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The latest addition recently opened in Bunker Hill, Texas, and Fiorentino plans to open two more stores in the coming weeks in Chicago and Delaware. All new locations will feature Retail 2.1 innovations, while the company works on upgrading older stores to the new platform.

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