Coles Myer will install 4000 MicroTouch touchscreen flat-panel displays across 550 supermarkets in an attempt to improve customer service and cut transaction costs.
Introduced in conjunction with the company's "new store environment" program which will see proprietary retail information systems replaced with Fujitsu ICL's Global Store and Microsoft Active Store enterprise platforms, the new displays are designed to save time at the register as well as reduce training overheads.
Based on LCD (liquid crystal display) technology and featuring TouchTek, a five-wire resistive touchscreen, the displays will be supplied by MicroTouch Australia over a period of 12 to 18 months.
MicroTouch was selected for the project after a six-month in-store trial of touchscreen systems and will begin implementation in late April 1999.
According to Lisa Amor, manager media relations, Coles Myer, the initial pilot tested touchscreen systems as a replacement to registers. Before MicroTouch's displays are installed in the supermarkets, a small number will be piloted to internal specifications, Amor said.
Issam Soubjaki, marketing manager for MicroTouch Australia, said pilot sites in Vermont South and Eastland, Victoria, will continue and an internal test will be carried out in Morwell in the La Trobe region.
Craig Stockdale, managing director of MicroTouch said the deal is significant worldwide for MicroTouch and represents the company's first supermarket installation throughout the world.
According to officials from the retailer, a key component of the unit will be the touchscreen applications that are being developed by an in-house Coles Myer team.
Two MicroTouch screens will be placed at each checkout aisle - customer service operators will use a touchscreen display to process purchases and customers will be able view the transaction and commercial advertising on the standard displays.
Officials said the new system would improve accuracy, save time, increase productivity and customer satisfaction as well as speed up payment procedures.