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POS shipments up in 2006, study indicates


FRANKLIN Tenn. Shipments of personal computer-based point-of-sale, or POS, systems in North America increased by 8 percent in 2006, compared with 5-percent growth in 2005, an annual study by IHL Consulting Group indicates.

IHL of Franklin said the greatest portion of shipment growth was tied to new-store development among restaurant users, including casual-dining, coffee and doughnut chains, and specialty retailers, such as those in the apparel and home improvement fields. Other retail segments, such as the grocery industry, saw shipments typically including touch-screen, liquid-crystal-display interfaces to replace aging hardware, said IHL sources. They added that these trends are expected to carry through 2007.

"Retailers continue to see the POS as more than just a method for accurately recording sales," IHL president Greg Buzek noted. He said POS system buyers are proving to be "willing to invest" in the added functionality of today's products, which, among other features, can support workforce management.

According to the 2007 North American POS Terminal Study for sale by IHL, increased governmental action, such as new consumer privacy laws covering information printed on receipts, as well as recent data security breaches among business and government entities, are weighing heavily on the POS purchasing decisions of restaurateurs and retailers.

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