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Big US retailers adopting Apple products: Say goodbye to the cash register

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Earlier today TUAW reported on how one New York City restaurant has adopted the iPad as a menu and point of sale system replacement. Now All Things D is reporting that Apple products -- predominantly the iPad -- are being purchased in droves by major retailers across the country.

Home improvement chain Lowes is reportedly deploying 42,000 handheld devices to stores in the U.S. and Canada. Other major deployments have been announced by rival Home Depot, Nordstrom, and Urban Outfitters. As noted by All Things D's Tricia Duryee, some of the retailers haven't spilled the beans on what devices they're actually fielding, but it's anticipated that they'll be Apple devices -- iPhones, iPads, or iPod touches.

While the devices can be easily set up to accept payments, many of the retailers are initially using the devices for customer service use cases: looking up answers to customer questions or checking availability of products.

Pacific Sunwear, AKA PacSun, will be rolling out iPads in 300 of its stores, and plans to increase the distribution of the tablets to up to 600 more locations by next year. PacSun is using an application by developer Global Bay to assist customers in ordering items that are out of stock in the stores.

Global Bay CEO Sandeep Bhanote mentioned that one retailer it helped has seen a 12 percent increase in average order transaction when customers receive service from associates carrying in-store Apple devices. For PacSun, the iPads are anticipated to let store associates close five more transactions a day -- and that's more than enough to cover the cost of the equipment and software.

How about you, TUAW readers? Other than at Apple Store retail locations, have you started seeing a lot of Apple products at your favorite retailer? Let us know in the comments.

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