“Anita Leopold has a little surprise for anyone who thinks vending machines were created to dispense lightly salted snack food and sugar-laced temptations,” Jim Tharpe reports for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“The top treat in the sleek, high-tech machines operated by her company and ZoomSystems at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is a top-of-the-line Apple iPod that fetches $349 before tax. It comes with a money-back guarantee, and it doesn’t drop from anywhere,” Tharpe reports. “A sophisticated robotic arm gently guides the mini-music machine to the buyer’s hands.”
“‘We’ve done about $55,000 in a month in gross sales just for the one on Concourse A,’ said Leopold, executive vice-president and owner Business Traveler Services. ‘This is becoming the future for some high-end products in places like airports where space is at a premium.’ Leopold, whose Atlanta-based company and Zoom operate two of the high-end vending machines at Hartsfield (the other is on Concourse C), said the Atlanta airport was the first to install what Zoom calls ‘small-format robotic stores,'” Tharpe reports.
Tharpe reports, “The idea caught on, and today airports in Dallas-Ft. Worth, San Francisco, Indianapolis, Reno, and Minneapolis-St. Paul have versions of the high-end machines… The 7-foot-tall, 7-foot-wide vending machines turned out to be tailor-made for airports and their lucrative combination of business, vacation and holiday travelers. The company does 30 to 40 percent of its business during the Christmas holidays as last-minute gift-buyers go on a binge.”
Full article here.
Robotic iPod vending machines to be installed in 180 Macy’s stores this fall – May 22, 2006
Apple iPods prove to be strong sellers in vending machines – April 10, 2006
Apple iPods top sellers via vending machine – October 24, 2005