A report from the IHL Consulting Group found that there has been an 8 percent increase in the size of the point-of-sale market, which isnt bad for a market that traditionally increased by about 4 percent. Still, its a healthy drop from the double-digit growth of recent years.
The North American POS market report released March 6 said the largest boosts are coming from new store shipments for specialty retailers, particularly for clothing, home improvement and car aftermarkets. Substantial POS device purchases by Kroger and Wal-Mart were specifically cited as helping to drive the numbers.
IHL also found that many retailers are looking to cut costs and/or take advantage of new services so they are buying new POS units with touch-screen LCDs (which lower power costs).
Depending on how the numbers are crunched, Linux may have helped, especially with enthusiastic Linux support from Pep Boys, Burlington Coat Factory and Circuit City. Linux shipments were flat last year, but its percentage of the installed base soared some 44 percent because Linux replaced some POS units based on either MS-DOS or IBM 4690 terminals, IHL President Greg Buzek said in an interview.
“Retailers continue to see the POS as more than just a method for accurately recording sales,” Buzek said. “Added functionality at the POS, whether in the form of capabilities like customer returns, inventory look-up, or work force management, helps retailers see POS as the central system in the store, and they are willing to invest in it accordingly.”
Buzek also found interesting sharp increases in two Microsoft POS offerings: Windows XP Embedded, which saw shipments increase 242 percent, IHL said, and Windows Embedded for Point of Service (WEPOS), which saw shipments climb by 80 percent.
That is interesting, Buzek said, because its so strongly influenced by Microsoft license price, which charges $10 more for WEPOS. “Thats why XP Embedded is doing better, even though WEPOS is more flexible,” Buzek said.
Retail Center Editor Evan Schuman can be reached at [email protected].