May 25, 2001, 12:00 AM

WH Smith will roll out web-based book vending machines at airports

WH Smith will start selling books via web-based vending machine at airports nationwide. The machines also will allow customers to shop on the web.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

WH Smith will start selling books via web-based vending machine at airports nationwide. WH Smith will stock each machine with up to 25 bestseller titles. Self-pay allows customers to pay at the e-Book Store instead of entering the store, allowing travelers to purchase books at any hour of the day. The e-Book Store is integrated into the storefront of WH Smith`s Airport/Airmall store locations.

The e-Book Store is a joint collaboration between WH Smith USA Travel Retail of Atlanta and Zoom Systems Inc. of San Francisco.

Consumers will view products and related detailed book information on the unit`s 15-inch touch screen, which will present a customized, multi-media consumer interface. Products are housed inside the e-Store. The e-Store’s web connection will also it to sell products not available in the machine but available on the web. Retailers using the system can manage merchandising, sales presentation, and inventory from the desktop via the Internet.

 

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