‘The IBM Retail Solution’: Retail Management goes Digital

Monday, June 29, 2020

Retail spaces have undergone drastic changes as a result of the internet and online commerce. The current COVID-19 health crisis will undoubtedly further change the landscape of in-person retail. This month’s featured film from Hagley’s collection looks back at another significant change in retail when digital retail management systems entered the mainstream among retailers.

In this film from 1983, produced for IBM by Image Associates, the company introduced the IBM 5260 retail system for small businesses. At its core was a cash register compatible with small IBM computers and retail software. The film was intended for potential customers of the new system. Today, it provides insight into the early age of digital computers as IBM pushed them into the retail space:

To see another IBM film from 1983, check out A Case for Computers

Kevin J. Martin is the Curator of Archives and the Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Audiovisual and Digital Collections at Hagley Museum and Library.