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by Grim Reaper • 18 July 2001

The Grim Reaper Discovers a Hidden Macy’sOh, joy, oh joy! There is plenty of dish in Ohio. The Grateful Dead One has unearthed a real gem. It’s a Macy’s in Ohio (you’re nuts if you think I’m going to reveal its exact location, but read on).

The store is designated Reinvent Unit Number One. RUNO is a little-publicized store devoted to Federated’s program to reinvent their store systems – from the shelf tags to the POS. RUNO (apparently there are a couple of other stores in the program) is a techy candy store put together by a company that is trying to figure out what it has to do to make its stores, er, busier.

One of my stooges reported that Macy’s took delivery of a new kiosk for a pilot project. He says the kiosk was from Netplex but the fat loser on RIS News wouldn’t help me with the facts so I had to use back doors. Insiders say the Netplex kiosk is the same as the system they were showing at Retail Systems 2001. It’s the hottest thing since Reflect.com. Although Reflect.com lets a woman visit the Web site and invent her own makeup, it offers only P&G products.

The aim of the Netplex system is to offer a variety. We saw the RS 2001 demo ourselves with a tour by St. Jones, the charming VP of New Business Development at Netplex.

Their cosmetic display system – a tabletop system called “Kioskmetics”. The store pays about $8,000 for each unit and it gives a certain type of customer a chance to shop where they wouldn’t have before. Yours truly, for instance, would never exert the effort it takes to get a cosmetics sales person to help find just the right makeup for Morticia, who’s shy about going shopping. Men who don ‘t like to shop at the perfume counter would shop here. Women who want to browse without any pushy help would use it.

The Kioskmetics kiosk is a hot idea, and it’s weird that Macy’s may be the first to put it in every store. But Macy’s already has some experience with bridal registry and baby registry kiosks so maybe this represents the wave of the future for them. At least they have a future.