And Santa's mobile app developers were hard at work at Amazon and over at Debenhams (the second-largest department store chain in the U.K.). Both retailers Tuesday released the same new functionality for their iPhone mobile app: barcode scanning. Debenhams said its move makes it the first High Street retailer to offer mobile barcode scanning. Amazon's move is surprising in how late it is. But it's safe to say that eBay's June purchase of Red Laser helped to focus Amazon on offering an alternative.
If Halloween is a mere two weeks away, then it's time to start hearing about the holiday-themed retail tech rollouts. And on Tuesday (Oct. 12), ToysRUs, Amazon and Debenhams stepped up to the brightly colored—and undoubtedly Wi-Fi-connected—plate. ToysRUs is adapting the wedding registry kiosk for the holidays, dubbing it a Wish List, with gift-givers able to access gift lists as long as they have the Wish List number. A nice touch from the toy chain: "Registrants do not have to worry about keeping receipts in the event they wish to make a return or exchange an item in-store that was purchased from their Wish List. Store employees can look up any Wish List transaction simply by revisiting the purchase history on the registrant's list for easy returns."