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Regal Entertainment Group


Self-service Goes Hollywood

Self-service Kiosks Are Hits at the Movies

In spite of competition from cable and satellite TV, VHS and DVD rentals, pay-per-view, and even illegal downloads, the movie industry continues to grow and prosper. Leading the way is Regal Entertainment Group, the largest motion picture exhibitor in the U.S., operating 6,045 screens in 550 locations in 39 states under the Regal Cinemas, United Artists Theatres, and Edwards Theatres brands.

Regal operates 17 percent of all the screens in the U.S., and has theatres in 46 of the top 50 U.S. markets, but still seeks to develop new sources of revenue and cash flow, best exemplified by the deployment of Regal Express, a self-service kiosk developed in conjunction with Fujitsu that allows moviegoers to purchase tickets, print online tickets, and even withdraw cash, in the theatre lobby.

Regal is implementing a two-part deployment that includes both the Regal Express kiosk and an upgraded Concession POS system. The POS rollout began in January 2003 and is scheduled to complete in May 2004, while the kiosk rollout started in August 2003 and won't be fully deployed until 2005.

The goals are simple: for the POS upgrade, Regal seeks reduced downtime and easier use, while looking to the kiosk to provide a robust multifunction device capable of additional applications without excessive cost. Fujitsu products were chosen for both projects.

Regal's existing Concession POS units were experiencing a high rate of failure, explains J.E. Henry, senior vice president and CIO for Regal Entertainment Group.

"The determining factor (in the POS implementation) was usability by theatre staff," Henry says. "We felt the TeamPoS unit, running the CO2 application designed and developed by internal Regal IT staff, was more reliable and could be better supported than the devices we were using at the time."

The kiosks were a slightly different story, as they had to be essentially created from the ground up specifically for Regal.

"Fujitsu was introduced as a company that was innovative in the ATM industry," Henry says. "We had a need to replace proprietary ticketing kiosks with a device that could perform multifunction tasks such as gift cards, cash transactions, ticket purchases and ticket retrievals from our online ticket partner Fandango."

STS developed the interface that allows the PRISM software running in the Fujitsu kiosks to interact with the existing Box Office application as well as allowing detailed accounting and patron attendance reporting.

The kiosk accepts both debit and credit cards, with debit cash transactions being processed by eFunds and credit transactions by Nova, the existing credit card processor.

To date, both the POS and kiosk deployments have been unqualified successes. The TeamPoS units are reporting a failure rate "of less than 1/2 of 1 percent," according to Henry, while the Regal Express kiosks, at an earlier state of deployment, are already within reach of the goals for those units and looking at an ROI with "significant payback." It's exactly the sort of Hollywood ending one would expect.

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Industries:

  • Retail/Wholesale

Offering Groups:

  • Retail Products

Solution Areas:

  • Retail Solutions

Regions:

  • United States

Challenges:

  • Increase revenues
  • Improve customer service

Benefits:

  • Fast return on investment (ROI)
  • Reduced failure rate of less than 0.5%
  • Improved customer service