August 18, 2010

H-E-B and Coinstar Chirp Automated Vending Kiosks

H-E-B puts in "Chirp" vending kiosks from Coinstar which compete with ZoomSystems. Note there are 90 ZoomShops in Texas.

Smart little retail shops'
Automated kiosks take vending machines to the next level with a variety of products in malls, stores and airports
By VICKI VAUGHAN San Antonio Express-News
Aug. 17, 2010, 11:43PM
1 2

Kim Christensen : For the Chronicle
H-E-B shoppers pass by a Chirp kiosk, a high-tech vending machine, as they leave the store on Blackhawk.



Houston H-E-B Stores with Chirp kiosk machines:
• 9828 Blackhawk Blvd.
• 28520 Tomball Parkway
• 130 Sawdust Road
• 14498 Bellaire
• 10919 Louetta Road

Source: H-E-B
The term vending machine conjures up images of dropping coins in a slot to buy cola, candy or chips.
That's so 20th century.
Today's newest vending machines are high-tech "automated kiosks" that, with the swipe of a credit card, dispense designer purses, clothing, iPods, digital cameras and beauty products, to name just some of the offerings.
The snazzy machines are winning a following from buyers in airports, grocery stores, malls and even inside department stores.
While traditional vending machines represent a mature industry whose growth is slowing, the high-tech kiosks "are a new strong growth area," said senior analyst Toon van Beeck at IBISWorld, a research firm based in Los Angeles.


"It's all about convenience," he said, which today's consumers demand.

One of the newest automated kiosks, called Chirp, was installed at five H-E-B groceries in Houston in February and at five H-E-Bs in San Antonio a few weeks ago.

At the H-E-B on Blackhawk Boulevard near I-45 South and Beltway 8, the Chirp kiosk machine is positioned by an exit. In the window display Tuesday were five designer bags ranging in price from $44.99 to $139.99. Each bag was made by a different designer: Coach, Juicy Couture, Michael Kors, Kenneth Cole and DKNY.
Customer Fay Bariya spent several minutes in front of the kiosk machine.

"I always look," she said. It has become part of her shopping routine to see what bags are on display before she leaves the store.

She is not sure if she will ever buy a bag, but if she particularly likes one and the price is right, she just might, she said.

Pre-K teacher Gloria Garcia also regularly stops by the kiosk machine after she completes her grocery shopping.

Rest of article

Posted by staff at August 18, 2010 07:11 AM