MicroTouch Wins Deal for Computer Displays With Australia's Leading
Retailer Coles Myer
(Business Wire; 09/03/98)
World's Largest Supermarket Application of Touchscreens
MicroTouch Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:MTSI) today announced that Coles Myer Ltd.,
Australia's largest retailing group and one of the top 25 retailers in the
world, has awarded a contract to MicroTouch for touch-enabled and custom flat-
In the initial phase of the contract, MicroTouch will supply approximately
4,000 displays over a 12-to-18-month period for what MicroTouch and Coles Myer
believe is the world's largest supermarket application of touchscreen flat-
panel displays. Implementation of the new displays will begin in early 1999 in
Coles Myer's 550 supermarkets, which employ more than 60,000 staff and serve
more than five million customers every week. MicroTouch Australia won the
contract after a six-month, in-store trial.
The displays will be integrated with point-of-sale (POS) terminals as part of
an ambitious "New Store Environment" program to improve customer service and
cut transaction costs in all Coles Myer retail operations, which include more
than 1,800 stores and generate more than A$20 billion in annual revenues.
"This is a tremendous strategic win for us. Because Coles Myer is a true
luminary in the global retail industry, their innovative approach to using
touchscreen displays in supermarket point-of-sale applications is bound to
foster an industry-wide adoption of touch solutions," said Wes Davis,
MicroTouch president and chief executive officer. "This win is a clear
reflection of how we partner with other leading suppliers from around the world
to deliver the right solution."
"We selected MicroTouch because the company met all of our technical criteria,
and demonstrated a firm commitment to meet our high standards of quality," said
Ian Goch, general manager of systems development at Coles Myer, and director of
the New Store Environment team. New Store Environment
Coles Myer is widely recognized as a leading innovator in the use of technology
aimed at providing customers with a faster, efficient, and more convenient
shopping experience. The Coles Myer New Store Environment is a multi-year
project to replace various proprietary retail information systems with industry-
standard systems based on Fujitsu ICL's GlobalStore and Microsoft ActiveStore
enterprise platforms. Coles Myer determined the front-end touchscreen
applications are key components, and is developing them in-house.
In the Coles Myer supermarket application, two MicroTouch displays will be
configured at each checkout aisle. Store clerks will process purchases with the
assistance of a touchscreen display to select fresh produce represented by
pictures, while customers will be able to view their transactions and
commercial advertising on the standard displays.
The easy-to-use touchscreen applications are designed to save time, improve
productivity and customer satisfaction, and reduce staff training costs. In the
sale of fresh produce, for example, a conventional checkout system requires the
clerk to find a four-digit product code and price from a printed list, then
enter the code via a keyboard.
With the new system, a clerk can enter the same information simply by touching
the appropriate icon on the screen, in only a fraction of the time of the
Because fresh produce is represented by color pictures, accuracy improves
dramatically. Most Coles Myer supermarkets carry more than 500 fresh produce
items. Some of these, such as potatoes and apples, have several varieties,
making the process of identifying the correct product price a complex process.
Under the new system, checkout staff can immediately recognize items by their
pictures and process them with a touch. When stores offer new or seasonal
products, the networked system can be updated with new graphical images easily
and quickly from a central location. In addition, the intuitive touchscreen
interface will reduce substantially the costs and time related to staff
The touchscreen application will also help speed payment procedures with
options represented by icons. One such touch option is a price inquiry function
that enables the clerk to perform a price check for customers.
The MicroTouch flat-panel displays are based on state-of-the-art LCD (liquid
crystal display) technology and sold under the TruePoint Profile brand name.
All displays will be assembled in MicroTouch Australia's headquarters and
manufacturing operations in Mulgrave, Victoria.
The touch-enabled displays will feature TouchTek, a proprietary 5-wire
resistive touchscreen that is the industry's fastest and most accurate.
TouchTek enables users to activate the touchscreen with virtually any input
device, including a finger, gloved hand, credit card, or stylus. About
MicroTouch Systems, Inc. is the world leader in computer touch-input solutions,
offering an array of innovative products based on capacitive, resistive, and
other touch technologies. Founded in 1982, MicroTouch reported sales of $128.5
million in 1997. With its headquarters and ISO 9001-certified manufacturing
plant in Methuen, Mass., MicroTouch also maintains manufacturing facilities in
New York, the United Kingdom, Japan, Taiwan, and Australia, along with sales
offices and distributors in numerous other countries. The MicroTouch Web site
address is http://www.microtouch.com. About Coles Myer
Coles Myer Ltd., is Australia's largest retailer, with annual sales of more
than A$20 billion. The company operates more than 1,800 stores in Australia and
New Zealand, including the following retail brands: Coles Supermarkets, Bi-Lo,
Pick N Pay, Newmart, Myer Grace Bros, Myer Direct, Kmart, Target, Fosseys,
Liquorland, Red Rooster, Katies, and Officeworks. Coles Myer is listed on the
stock exchanges in Australia, New York, London, and New Zealand, and is
Australia's largest non-government employer with more than 148,000 staff. The
company is Australian-owned, with a head office in Melbourne, Victoria. The
Coles Myer Web site address is http://www.colesmyer.com.au