February 2, 2001, 12:00 AM

REI Takes the Kiosk Route

Outdoor gear and apparel retailer REI has implemented in-store kiosks to help integrate shopping channels. REI has 115 kiosks in 60 stores.

Outdoor gear and apparel retailer REI has implemented in-store kiosks to help integrate shopping channels. REI now has 115 kiosks in 60 stores,which REI says generates sales equal to the average of sales for a 25,000-square-foot store. Providing kiosk access to the web also extends the sales opportunities for four of its smaller stores-10,000 to 14,000 square feet-that cannot hold as many items as the larger stores. "Kiosks will be a key part of acting as a bridge between e-commerce and retail stores," says Jim Okamura, senior partner at consultants J.C. Williams Group. "How they influence the basket of goods that customers are leaving the store with is how retailers can see the payback." REI also is integrating a POS Internet enabling system that will allow kiosk users to access real-time inventory information as well as allowing cashiers to order online from their checkout terminals. REI says the cashier is one place where every customer interacts. "If a customers says they couldn`t find something at checkout, the cashier can order it online during checkout," says a spokesperson.

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