Two-way radio for retailers

The new capabilities offered by today’s digital radios are increasingly being enlisted in the battle to keep the high street open and to cut retailers’ costs, as Kate O’Flaherty discovers

Two-way radios have been used by the retail industry for decades. But in recent years, the shift from analogue to digital has fuelled a major jump in the devices’ functionality.

Among the applications now available are RFID guard patrol, location-based services, job tasking and dynamic grouping. In shopping centres, many radio applications focus on safety and security. This is set against a backdrop of tighter regulation around accident compensation, as well as fears the centres could be targeted by terrorists.

As centre manager at High Chelmer in Chelmsford, Michael McDonagh must be aware of these issues. The shopping centre, which is comprised of 75 stores plus restaurants and nightclubs, serves 8.6 million customers a year and can become a victim of retail theft, crime incidents and slips, trips and falls.

McDonagh is a self-confessed Motorola Solutions fan who says he once threw one of the manufacturer’s radios across a meeting room to test its robustness.

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