Retail Solutions - Dell enters EPoS market with US launch of peripheral range

Dell Computers, which revolutionised the market by offering configurable PCs direct to consumers from its Web site, has entered the EPoS hardware arena with a range of peripherals and components that customers can also mix-and-match.

The company, which unveiled its offering at the National Retail Federation show in New York last month, has formed alliances with a number of software players in the US, including Retek, Autogas, Gers and MSS Global, in order to provide total solutions. The starting price for a Dell EPoS configuration is about US$1,764 (£1,073), with a Dell OptiPlex desktop PC, flat panel or CRT display with touchscreen, keyboard with programmable keys, barcode scanner, thermal receipt printer and cash drawer.

The first company to adopt a Dell EPoS system is The Wet Seal - a US fashion chain with 588 stores and 1,100 till points. The Wet Seal operations manager for MIS Ron Hunt said:'Dell worked with us to identify the best register and peripherals for our needs and pricing qualifications.Together we achieved a nearly flawless success rate on first-time installations.'

Retek will be providing its RPoS Java-based point-of-sale application for Dell's machines. This has now been successfully implemented running under Linux at Mark's Work Wearhouse, a Canadian 320-store clothing chain.

In this case, IBM SurePoS 500 terminals have been selected. Mark's runs the system in 64 stores and believes the Linux/Java solution has cut implementation costs by 30 per cent and maintenance costs by 50 per cent.

In the UK, Edinburgh Woollen Mill has opted for the same Retek Java/Linux solution.

Pilots were completed before Christmas and the system will be rolled out over the next six months.