Executive Briefings

Ace Hardware Pilot: Shoppers Learn by Cell Phone Where Items Are Located

Rick Baalmann, who heads up the St. Louis area stores for the 4,400-store Ace Hardware chain, said he often wants to get in and out quickly on shopping trips so he warmed quickly to a vendor pitching a service to tell customers-via their cell phones and voice recognition-the exact location of products before they arrive at the store. Whether customers will warm to it, though, is a very different issue. But a pilot is under way to find out.

The idea is for shoppers to phone the service and then speak the product name and the automated voice system will say the exact location of that product. 

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Rick Baalmann, who heads up the St. Louis area stores for the 4,400-store Ace Hardware chain, said he often wants to get in and out quickly on shopping trips so he warmed quickly to a vendor pitching a service to tell customers-via their cell phones and voice recognition-the exact location of products before they arrive at the store. Whether customers will warm to it, though, is a very different issue. But a pilot is under way to find out.

The idea is for shoppers to phone the service and then speak the product name and the automated voice system will say the exact location of that product. 

Read Full Article