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EMEA Retailers’ EPOS Expenditures Expected to Surpass £2.5 Bln in '07

Internet retailers might be attracting masses of buyers but brick and mortar vendors are not doing bad either. The PC-based electronic point-of-sale (EPOS) market in Europe/Middle East/Africa experienced a four percent shipment increase in 2006, says a new study released today by IHL Consulting Group.

The total value of new EPOS shipments is expected to surpass 1.8 billion Euros and the total installed base value (including shipments, hardware and software maintenance) to surpass 3.2 billion Euros in 2007 ($4.3 Billion U.S.).

The largest boost in 2007 will come from replacement of systems installed in the late 1990s (just before the Euro conversion and Y2K) in the Large Format Food & Drug and Hypermarket segments. Also helping will be shipments to markets that historically are less technically mature in terms of EPOS (referred to as “Other EMEA”).

Going forward, these trends will continue for a couple of years in the more technically-mature EPOS markets (for example, Germany, France and the UK), and long term for the Other EMEA countries, according to the 2007 Europe/Middle East/Africa Retail POS Terminal Study, which is available immediately from IHL.

"Retailers continue to see the EPOS as more than just a method for accurately recording sales," said Greg Buzek, president of IHL Consulting Group, a global research and advisory firm that serves retailers and retail technology vendors. "Added functionality at the till, whether in the form of capabilities such as customer returns, inventory look-up, or workforce management, helps retailers see EPOS as THE central system in the store, and they are willing to invest in it accordingly."

According to the study, retailers in the Food & Drug and Mass Merchant segments are experiencing heavy consolidation, while those in the Convenience and Hospitality segments are seeing rapid expansion. Security is also weighing heavily on retailers’ POS purchase decision-making process. Retailers want POS systems that are PCI compliant, in order to avoid situations such as those experienced recently by TJ Maxx and other retailers in North America. These are just some of the findings from IHL's POS market study.

Additional findings include:

* In 2006 replacements by retail giants such as Carrefour, Asda and Lidl generated the majority of shipments for the Large Format Food & Drug and Hypermarket segments.

* Shipments to developing markets nearly equaled those going to Germany, historically the largest recipient of shipments in the region.

* WEPOS (Windows® Embedded for Point of Service) shipments grew by 54 percent, while Windows® XP Embedded grew by 45 percent.

* Shipments of Linux-based EPOS shipments grew by 22 percent.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.