Walmart and Walgreen’s Join The List of Retailers Testing iBeacons in Stores

Posted in Apple, Apple News, iOS on 07/05/2014 by Chris Hauk

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Drugstore chain Duane Reade announced today that its updating its iPhone app with support for Apple’s iBeacons. The Walgreen-owned chain recently installed the low-power Bluetooth devices in 10 of its New York City locations. A separate report tell us that discount retailer Walmart is also testing iBeacons, but has not yet installed them in any of its stores.

duane-reade

9to5Mac reports that Duane Reade has installed the Bluetooth iBeacons in order to beam offers, coupons and product info to customers in proximity that have the company’s iPhone app installed.

Duane Reade: The addition of iBeacon to the Duane Reade app vastly improves the customer in-store user experience. iBeacon is a technology Apple introduced with iOS 7 that uses Bluetooth Low Energy and geo-fencing to provide apps a new level of micro-location awareness, such as trail markers in a park, exhibits in a museum or product displays in stores. The inclusion of this technology to the Duane Reade app adds features such as lock screen notifications when initially approaching a select Duane Reade store location, coupon offers based on historical data and product reviews for timely content at the point-of-decision. iBeacon will initially be available at 10-select Duane Reade stores in Manhattan to test the viability of a further rollout.  

The Duane Reade iBeacon test store locations are:

  • 51 W 51ST ST

  • 22 W 48TH ST

  • 661 8TH AVE

  • 4 COLUMBUS CIR

  • 771 8TH AVE

  • 1350 BROADWAY

  • 1627 BROADWAY

  • 100 W 57TH ST

  • 1370 AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS

  • 1150 AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS

IndoorLBS reports that Walmart is also testing iBeacons, but testing is still confined to the lab, and devices have not yet been installed in stores. Walmart says they are “pretty excited about iBeacons, knowing where a customer is often helps us serve them better.” Acknowledging that “90% of retail still happens in store and it has to do with proximity.”


  • Marvin the paranoid android

    I always have trouble finding stuff at Walmart. It would be great if they could use this to help me find what I am looking for.

    • Chris Hauk

      Something similar for Home Depot would be great too…

  • TedJustfar

    Walmart!? Wait a second! You have the money to buy an iPhone AND a plan with it, yet you’re shopping at Walmart? What is wrong with this picture…?

    • Chris Hauk

      Well, I don’t know about Marvin, but shopping at Walmart and Aldi’s allows me to pay for my iPhone and plan… 😉

      • TedJustfar

        LOL, you got a point there 🙂

  • MRonin ⚜

    I’m not a huge fan of Walmart and try to avoid it, but this is kinda cool and I’d definitely use it at Walgreen’s.

    • Chris Hauk

      Yes! Walgreen’s is my drug store of choice. I already prefer them because my rewards card pops up via Passbook the minute I walk into the store. 🙂

      • MRonin ⚜

        Oh yeah that’s one of the reasons I frequent Walgreen’s too.

Author

Chris Hauk

MacTrast Senior Editor, and self-described "magnificent bastard," Chris Hauk owns Phoenix Rising Services and writes for everyone's favorite "bad movie" website, Big Bad Drive-In.

His first Apple product was an iPod Classic 9 years ago, and he has since added a MacBook Pro, a number of iPads, iPhones, and multiple Apple TVs to his collection.

He lives somewhere in the deep Southern part of America. Yes, he has to pump in both sunshine and the Internet.