Supermarkets sweep in for Symbol’s technology

Lulu, Panda and Carrefour deploy firm’s equipment

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By  Published  September 8, 2006

Mobile device vendor Symbol is claiming to have made a sweep of regional supermarket chains, with a number of firms having recently signed agreements to implement its technology in their stores.

The Lulu, Hyper Panda and Carrefour chains have installed or are in the process of installing the vendor’s technology, including its handheld computers, scanners, micro kiosks, and wireless local area network (WLAN).

Hyper Panda is using Symbol’s MC3000 handheld computers, MK1000 micro kiosks, LS7708 scanners and LS2208 mobile scanners in its newstore in Dubai’s Festival City — the first Hyper Panda to open in the UAE.

Carrefour will also be using MC3000s and MK1000s in a new store it is opening in Dubai and Lulu, which will be opening a new store in Dubai at the end of this month, is to install MC3000s, MK1000s, LS2208s and LS7708, as well as Symbol’s WLAN network.

The technology is intended to increase productivity, enhance customers’ experience and drive down the cost of communication.

“The benefits supermarkets get are definitely to make sure they have an accurate collection of information about what they have in the stock and what they have received, which helps out the entire business from an accounting and sales point of view,” said Tarek Hassaniyeh, sales manager for Symbol Middle East.

“With wireless technology supermarkets can always look out for opportunities to enhance their productivity and efficiency,” Hassaniyeh went on to add.

The Lulu hypermarket, which will be opening next to Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates, has bought around 12 MC3000s, ten MK1000s and 61 of the LS2208s and LS7708s.

Madhav Rao, group IT manager of the EMKE Group, which owns the Lulu chain, said the wireless technology it was implementing made staff more productive and allowed them to do tasks such as inventory checking, price checking, and reordering more easily. “The technology of Symbol is proven, robust, reliable.

We don’t have much downtime and the failure rate is very low compared to other hardware,” he said.

Hassaniyeh said implementations like those done at Lulu, Hyper Panda and Carrefour cost the customer on average between US$70,000 and US$100,000.

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