Stock room robots make jeans shopping a breeze

Stock room robots make jeans shopping a breeze

25-Sep-2013
try on jpeg Hointer
Some men hate to shop. Just walking into a typical retail establishment can create a sense of panic. Even with an agenda for shopping for a new pair of jeans, for example, the selection is confusing, the inventory overwhelming, the fitting rooms intimidating and the clerks over-solicitous.

Hointer, an emerging men’s clothing chain that opened its first shop in Seattle in December 2012, has solved the mysteries of mid- to high-end men’s apparel shopping with a unique Point of Sale (POS) concept that incorporates QR codes, scanned by a smartphone (either your own or one they will loan you), on each of their 150 jeans styles and colors from a couple of dozen American designers. An example of each pair of jeans, along with sweatshirts and hoodies, is hung in a showroom-like space for shoppers to examine for color, style and fabric. Each has a QR code attached, which, when scanned with the shopper’s size, instantly sends the information over the internet. Robots in the back room of the store are alerted to select the appropriate style and size and invisibly “whoosh” the jeans to a designated fitting room within 30 seconds. Smaller and larger sizes or different colors can also be selected while in the fitting room. No more sifting through piles of clothes, often unsorted by size; no more unfolding and folding; no more putting pants back on to select a different size or style; no more shopping under the wary eye of a salesperson.

If the customer likes the product, he can simply charge it via his phone through the same POS app, with the touch of a wall-mounted tablet and a slide of a credit card on the attached card reader. He’s then free to put the items in a bag and leave the store. If he doesn’t want to complete the purchase, he drops it back in the dressing room chute and it’s removed from the app’s shopping cart and re-inventoried. No human interaction is required. 

Every pair of jeans has a wireless tag that tracks its location in the shop—or alerts the store’s sole employee if someone tries to leave without paying. 

The process is the brainchild of Nadia Shouraboura, CEO of Hointer. She notes that the barcode/POS process has resulted in lower labor costs, efficiency on the shop floor and a better customer experience. As the store grows, they’ll carry shirts, shoes and other items as well. 

Click here to view the original article from Point of Sale News.