iPad-Only Retail Stores?

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A clothing store chain has started swapping out cash registers. Payment methods won't change, but some logistical changes might be weird...

Urban Outfitters has begun ditching cash registers for iPads, says AGBeat

All Urban Outfitters check-out counters will be equipped with iPads on a swivel stand, giving cashiers a free range of motion to allow customers to input email addresses or registry items during a transaction. And when staff doesn’t feel like being confined behind a counter, they can pop the tablet off and walk the floor, allowing customers to check out in any part of the store.

Urban Outfitters wants to move to this new model because it will cost significantly less than maintaining and installing new cash registers. CIO Calvin Hollinger says an iPad costs about a fifth as much as a cash register and it not only has greater functionality, but also a higher level of interactivity with the customer.

Presumably you can still pay with cash, but where are they going to put it? And what will happen to orderly checkout lines if everyone just makes a beeline for the nearest associate? Do we really want to touch iPads that are covered in the mall-food grease of our fellow shoppers?

Stacy Johnson

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