At Lowe's in Gaithersburg, Assistant Store Manager Chad Wallace can whip out an iPhone to look up whether any item at the home improvement store is in stock. "It's been a great tool for helping customers right there on the spot," Wallace said. "A lot of customers are impressed that we're able to use the phone to scan something on the shelf and find out the quantity." The store has about 25 mobile devices outfitted with store applications that allow employees to ring up sales, view competitors' prices and track inventory without leaving a customer's side.

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