What's Automated Retailing? It's a sleek, interactive automated retail store that uses cutting-edge technology to attract shoppers' attention, answer their product questions, run in-depth product demos, guide shoppers through the buying process and close the sale. Oh, and report inventory and customer data back to the home office in a flash.
Brand-name retailers love Automated Retailing because they expand their brands' visibility, generate revenues and deliver a fast, convenient buying process to customers-without the expense of employees. Airports, malls and other high-traffic retail venues welcome Automated Retailing because they give shoppers expanded product selections, a positive buying experience and generate leasing revenues-in a very small footprint.
Shoppers love to buy from Automated Retailing systems because the touch-screen technology is approachable and intuitive, they can get as much product detail as they want before making a buying decision at their own pace (without a salesperson as intermediary), and the buying process is instantly gratifying as the robotic arm gently picks up the customers' newly purchased tech gadget (or other product) and deposits it gently in a bin for retrieval.
With all that love, it's easy to see why Automated Retailing is projected to reach over $1 trillion in sales by 2015.
Then there are the astronomical sales per square foot. Some systems are so small they may be replacing a potted plant, yet they do $4,000-$40,000 per square foot annually. At one International in a major American city, Apple iPods sales topped $100,000 in just one month. This industry is on the rise and we like companies in this growth sector.
Two players dominate this industry: Coinstar (NASDAQ:CSTR) and AVT (AVTC). More on those companies in another post.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.