While Oracle (ORCL) is not a name one would commonly associate with the consumer retail space, thanks to a recent partnership with J.C. Penney (JCP), it now makes an interesting way to get forward edge exposure to the space. Fortunately for Oracle, and thus for its investors, the company can provide this exposure while maintaining its core business with clients like Unisys (UIS), rather than the fickle consumers that drive J.C. Penney’s bottom line. The J.C. Penney angle, described in more detail below, may give Oracle a first mover advantage if the new technology that brings the two companies together can be successfully deployed. If not, Oracle’s enterprise business (also discussed in more detail below) is alive and flourishing.
The Retail Angle
At the recent Brainstorm Tech Conference, J.C. Penney CEO Ron Johnson announced that he planned to completely eliminate cash checkout lines in all of the company’s stores by the end of 2013. The first step of the plan is to install a high grade Wi-Fi network in each store that will allow clerks to perform mobile checkout. This model was made popular by Apple (AAPL) in its Apple Stores. The concept behind mobile checkout is that employees can be out on the sales floor providing proactive service to the public all the way through sale completion. This approach has been very successful for Apple and its band of sales associates that are armed with a mobile device. This step is planned for later this fall, but is only the first step. To continue reading, click here.