With hypermarkets throughout Europe now having as many as 100 checkouts, NCR has launched its most powerful point of sale system. The Ultra 2127 retail system was developed in Europe, and uses the Unix-based Tower systems as the in-store processor, supporting intelligent 2127 point of sale terminals and application software. Previous Ultra systems have relied on dumb or pre-configured read-only-memory based terminals, but according to Jenny Burr of NCR’s Retail Product Marketing Division, the systems could not cope with either the high transaction throughput or flexibility required by larger supermarkets, hypermarkets, and specialist merchandisers like do-it-yourself chains. The firmware built into the 2126 Ultra terminals worked on a question-and-answer menu system, with not enough configuration for retailers demanding cash office control, till performance and security monitoring, and general office application software, said Ms Burr. The new systems, said to be capable of handling up to a 100,000 transactions per hour at each store, were launched in conjunction with Retailer 1 software, a new merchandisers management system. NCR Europe chose not to implement the NCR 7000 point-of-sale system, launched back in January 1987 (CI No 594) and also based on the Tower range, as it saw the configuration as suitable for serving only the 10-to-20 lane outlets that predominate in the US. But Ultra is being launched in the US as a top-of-the-range system. Both Ultra 2127 and Retailer 1 applications use Oracle Corp’s Oracle 4GL and database.