Three Square Market (32M) announced today that on October 27, 2015, the U.S. Patent Office granted 32M a patent on its micromarket and mobile application. This is the culmination of a two-year investment by 32M and is the first of several patents it expects to obtain in the near future.
“When we entered the micro market arena, we made a strategic decision to develop cutting-edge technology” said Todd Westby, CEO of 32M’s parent company, TW Companies. “Given the investment we made, both in the short- and long-term, we didn’t want to see our proprietary efforts go to waste by not protecting our intellectual property.”
32M runs over 20% of its micro market transactions through its smart phone application and expects this trend to increase over the next several years. “When we entered this arena, there was no one with a smart phone application yet the demand for apps was extremely high” added COO Patrick McMullan. “Despite significant skepticism from the competition and operators, we rolled this product out and it is now one of the major reasons we have opened over 1,300 stores in less than 3 years. Our app does everything a kiosk does except take cash. You can even check out faster on the app than at the kiosk. Consequently, we filled a significant void and have expanded our app to include several administrative functions such as inventory management, reporting, and other features that provide even greater efficiency to our operators”.
The mobile market continues to capture record monthly growth in volumes of transactions in the retail industry. Over 70% of shopping efforts involve some usage of a mobile device whether it be searching for a location, buying on-line, seeking reviews, or other related activities. “In the micro market arena, a mobile device purchase also eliminates other potential service issues” added CFO Tim Westby. “We have over 25 stores that operate with no kiosk at all. These stores have no bill jams or connection issues, let alone kiosk cost. And our operators who offer the mobile app as a supplement to their kiosk, see their per employee sales being higher and they have virtually no customer service challenges”.
32M intends to vigorously protect its intellectual property rights associated with its patent. “We have invested a great deal of time and expense in this process” added Todd Westby. “We brought the mobile app to the market and we intend to protect our competitive advantage”.
32M’s patent can be found under U.S. Patent Number US 9,171,300 B2. The 32M mobile app is free to download and is available for both Android and iPhone. To learn more about Three Square Market, go to www.32Market.com. 32M is a subsidiary of TW Companies, which also owns TurnKey Corrections (www.TurnKeyCorrections.com), a premier technology and service provider to the corrections industry, and American Institutional Supply (www.Amerisup.com), a supplier of products to the corrections, vending, hotel, education, and fitness industries.