ILoveVelvet uses Apple's iPhones, iPods and iPads to make sales and inventory mobile, whether in a Nespresso premium coffee shop in New York, or on a Gray Line bus tour in Miami.

The firm offers mobile point-of-sale (POS) transactions, plus inventory and customer purchase tracking, in a software-hardware combo called the "Velvet Suite." The system includes the "D-Holster" cradle-sort of a Batman utility belt of retail, which fits over the Apple handhelds. The D-Holster has smart card and magnetic swipe readers for customer payment and loyalty cards; a barcode scanner for pricing; and a contactless RFID processor for real-time inventory. Coupled with the "Velvet Store" software, it enables salespersons to retrieve pricing and product descriptions, and to call up past purchases. Velvet Store feeds info onto iPhone screens via an interface customized to match the retailer's brand: Merchants upload their inventory and customer data, so "the associate can make smart recommendations if a product is not available," says Patrick Bouaziz, ILoveVelvet's managing director.

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