POS Shakeup

It wasn’t a surprise when IBM exited the POS market earlier this month—Greg Buzek at IHL Group called it one of the worst kept secrets among analyst—but some are puzzling about why ToshibaTEC purchased the business.

But as Buzek points out, the future of retail POS is mobile and ToshibaTEC has traction in this area, and IBM has never been a mobile payer. While specialty retailers are most interested in mobile POS—more than 70% plan to offer mobile POS in the next 12 to 18 months—a few grocers have embraced the technology and more are expected to follow.

IBM has dominated in grocery, drugstores and mass merchants in POS because of its C-level relationships. Relationships are still important, but grocers continue to look for ways squeeze more out of tight IT budgets, and competition typically brings down costs.

For the first time in 25 years, the U.S. POS market is wide open. Buzek says HP, NCR and Retalix will benefit. These are all strong companies that have a track record in retail. Or, ToshibaTEC could take the ball and run with it.

The true winners are the grocery IT managers, who will have more options for their next POS upgrade. Game on.

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