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Burlington Coat Factory installs 1,300 Linux boxes

CmdrTaco posted more than 15 years ago | from the aint-that-spiffy dept.

Linux 53

funkwater wrrote in to tell us that Burlinton Coat Factory has been noted as the first significant retailer to deploy the Linux operating system in all 250 stores. Do the responsible parties over there read Slashdot? Want to write something to help convince other companies to join you? This is a great step forward- many people in similiar situations regularly email me to ask for help making this sort of thing happen in their organization. The geeks know. The suits are catching on.

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already posted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2010226)

wasnt this posted a few days ago?

How about Slashdot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2010227)

How about Slashdot reading their own articles?? This article has been posted a day or two ago.

Repost! (A suit from BCFW posted to the first one! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2010228)

This was on /. just a day or so ago!

One of the comments on that posting was CIO or someone, asking for feedback, comments, etc.


Andrew Gilmore
(I'm not cowardly, just lazy!)

Better Question: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2010229)

Do the responsible parties over there read Slashdot?

How about, "do the 'responsible' parties over HERE read Slashdot"? ml

No Subject Given (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2010230)

Wasn't this already posted a couple of days ago?

Hello from the Philly / So. Jersey area! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2010231)

And yes, some of us around here do indeed use and follow Linux. It's nice that a local business made this kind of news!

Dog Coats -- I want one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2010232)

What are you doing here? Go away & give your pet to someone who's caring.

Local? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2010233)

Burlington Coat Factory is a national chain.

Cool wondering if there hiring? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2010234)

Man this is cool, there is a burlenton coat factory about 2 miles away from me. Maybe they need to hire some linux freaks! Sure hope so /me is calling information to get the number!

A few hundred dollars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2010235)

Why does the guy say that the software will only cost a few hundred dollars? Shouldn't it be more like 0 - $50?

Before you all get too excited, read this: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2010236)

They are not planning on replacing the DOS POS systems in their stores with X terminals that would allow users to actually use Linux at the point where the people interact with the systems. They are just going to install around 1,000 linux boxes in their 250 stores and headquarters to collect data from the DOS boxes instead of collecting the data from the DOS boxes on NT file servers. So, this company is not really yet implementing anything revolutionary, in spite of all the initial excitement. Now, if they were replacing those DOS boxes with x terminals and creating a linux program for the front end point of sale, THAT would be somewhat groundbreaking. If the company were to build its Linux POS solution with a rapid application development toolkit, THEN there would be a lot more reason to get excited about the company's embrace of Linux. Linux is just the OS. When the front to back apps are hosted on those Linux boxes instead of on DOS boxes, THAT will be a good day for Linux.

Dog Coats -- I want one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2010237)

What do some cowboy's perversions have to do with dog coats?

Good, I'm going there to buy a coat then (: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2010238)

Excellent timing, I need to get a winter coat. Heh, money has been tight, and winter is almost over though. :P

Oh well, it's nice to be able to support a company that SUPPORTS Linux.

Burlington sucks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2010239)

I don't think I've been into a dumpier store with a bigger bunch of loosers as clients.

What a raft of crap. If this is the kind of place Linux freaks have to brag about, then its a sad da y indeed.


user training (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2010240)

Umm...I believe the interface is going to look the same, and since they will still use a keyboard and mouse, I don't think there is any retraining involved. Actually, there will probably be less training for new employees, because they can skip the whole part about rebooting when it crashes and other common MS cures.

GNU Dog hair statistical calculator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2010241)

Now if someone would just give them a URL to a nice program for linux to calculate the profit gained by using dog fur for coats.

Attention! Achtung! Hey, guys! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2010242)

What we need now is for some slashdotter to follow the folks at BCF around and write a "daynotes" kind of report about how it goes.

Perhaps, but if I do, I do it well. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2010243)

Oh no, did I strike a nerve?

I have disdain for people who support looser companies.

In this regard, Microsoft and Burlington are much alike. (We'll sell you crap, we just want a profit.)

If their business practices weren't optimized towards inferior merchandise at cheap prices, they wouldn't be tempted to allow their IT department enough freedom to choose Linux.


Ahh, Burlington Coat Factory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2010244)

Forget the dog coat, I want a penguin coat.

Maybe a whole TUXedo....


Fee Fie Foe FUD... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2010245)

damn dude! thanks for that link
This is exactly whative wanted - redhat + KDE

damn, and its free!!!!


Spot Couture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2010246)

Am I the only one who found the dog hair coat recall to be a little bit absurd? Oh, it was okay when all involved thought it was COYOTE hair, but dog hair - that's just sick and wrong!

Western perceptions of what is and isn't a "strange" animal are so completely whacked it defies contemplation. You'd be surprised how many people reel at the mention of goat's milk or cheese, but don't give a second thought to gobbling down bovine mammary secretions.

Meat is meat once you pry yourself loose from your oppresive social conditioning, people.

Ahh, Burlington Coat Factory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2010247)

My dog already has a fur coat.. I don't think he needs another one. (You'll have to ask him, though.. maybe he'd like a new coat)


Local? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2010248)

Oddly enough, they have a huge store in Burlington, NC, which is a center for textile and garment trade.

Ahhhh.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2010249)

1,300 Linux boxes? Sounds like heaven 8 )

Dog Coats -- I want one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2010250)

He did say that the dog was 15 years old. I don't think he was implying that he would kill his dog. Although, if the dog were really sick, many people would consider it a kindness to euthanize it. Personally I've always had trouble with approving of euthanization. On the other hand, when one of my cats was mauled by a dog, I suppose my father was probably right to euthanize it (although he told me it died by itself, which it eventually would have) since there wasn't much we could do for it and it was miserable (my father had to catheterize it several times a day to empty its bladder, and it wasn't eating. My father's a vet by the way).
In any case, whatever the dog eventually dies of, is it cruel to make a coat out of it? Different people have different ideas about what represents proper respect to the dead. Various cultures have had all sorts of mortuary practices. When Robert the Bruce died, he wanted to be buried in Jerusalem when it was 'freed' so, when he died, his heart was cut out and his flesh was boiled off his bones (this was by his friends and clansmen, he wasn't in the hands of his enemies or anything). The flesh was buried in consecrated ground. Many miles away from Jerusalem was the best they could do. His skeleton was shipped back to his home for temporary burial until he could be shipped back to Jerusalem. One of his best friends and senior officers (more or less, I don't know the actual authority structure) kept the dried heart in a silver casket that he wore about his neck at all times.
By many accounts, the Anasazi (famous for cliff dwellings) were a peaceful, enlightened people who lived in middle part of what is now the U.S. hundreds of years ago. They are believed to have migrated from Mexico, then they pretty much vanished without a trace. Numerous archeological finds have found evidence of human bones that the Anasazi stripped of flesh and marrow by cutting and boiling and skulls that were cracked open, cooked on hot coals and had the brains removed, and then dumped into narrow pits. Supporters of the "peaceful Anasazi" theory insist that this was simply one of the ways that they disposed of their dead. Although, this may not be a legitimate mortuary practice, and actually be more along the lines of leftovers from a barbaque, since other archeologists claim that the Anasazi were a bunch of violent cannibals who ruled the region through terror.
Hmmm, then there's Maui, of Maori mythology, whose favorite weapon/fishook/wand was his grandmother's jawbone.
Anyway, there are plenty of examples of people keeping bits of human friends and relatives around. If it weren't for the legal issues involved in disposing of dead bodies, we might even see people who have dead husbands/wives stuffed or turned into a handbag or jacket or something. Well, maybe not, but it's much less of a stretch to imagine someone doing the same with a dog (although, unless it's a quite large dog, there might not be enough to make a whole jacket). It doesn't have to be cruel or malicious in any way.
On the other hand, maybe the poster was just making a sick joke.

A few hundred dollars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2010251)

Is he talking about the POS server software itself?

spanish kicks ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2010252)

You actually have two words for free: "libre" and "gratis." No more of this "open source"/"free software" horseshit: you can just call the software "libre" to unambiguously say what you meant the whole time! Now, while I can understand why you might not have used the word "gratis" (which isn't entirely an accurate description of linux in any case), did you use "libre"?

Africa? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2010253)

You are obviously a bloody ameican...

Only a yankee imperialist pigdog could say such a thing....

Is it Pick-n-Pay ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2010254)

Is the retail chain Pick-n-Pay by any chance ?
I used to work for them and their CIO always had a real independent streak

Just confirm/deny please ...


No Subject Given (1)

vldmr_krn (737) | more than 15 years ago | (#2010255)

About time?

Step-at-a-time. (1)

Chouser (1115) | more than 15 years ago | (#2010256)

Of course they read Slashdot.

They are not replacing their POS systems with Linux. Yet. But they are replacing the the back-end server in every store. Do you know how committed a company has to be to a technology to do something that big? They are also replacing their Sun workstations on engineers desks with Linux machines, one at a time.

Burlington was already smart enough to use Unix everywhere and avoid NT at all costs. Now they have proved smart enough to adopt Linux in a big way. I'd be willing to bet they'll be doing Linux at POS eventually as well.

Radio Shack and Linux (1)

zonker (1158) | more than 15 years ago | (#2010257)

I'm surpised radio shack hasn't gone Linux. I used to work there a while ago, and they were using XENIX for their POS sytem. When I finally left, they schanged over to SCO. Seems like Linux would be easier to use, better to support and less costly to implement.... for what it's worth...

Suits, Understand? (1)

Daniel (1678) | more than 15 years ago | (#2010258)

Actually, I think that you're thinking of an air-breathing patent.. :-)


Wish them the best! (1)

dattaway (3088) | more than 15 years ago | (#2010259)

A workplace is a good workplace when computers do not crash and people can work. Linux will help them do it!

Hopefully, MS won't send the goons out and make things difficult. []

Wet Blankets? (1)

matty (3385) | more than 15 years ago | (#2010260)

Those of you who pooh-pooh the siginificance of this blow my mind. Are you on the M$ payroll? Maybe they didn't replace *all* their computers with Linux, but I would say that 1300 Linux boxes is quite significant.

Not only that, check out their home page. [] They advertise the Linux implementation right on the front page!

No matter what anyone else says, this is exactly the kind of mainstream corporate acceptance we've been hoping for all along.

Burlington sucks. (1)

Johann (4817) | more than 15 years ago | (#2010261)

Hey CmdrTaco! Why doesn't this guy get his post deleted?

Jay Jacobs (1)

ocie (6659) | more than 15 years ago | (#2010262)

There was a story about a month or two ago about a regional clothing store Jay Jacobs setting up Linux POS systems in their stores. If I remember correctly, the company that wrote the POS software is based in Redmond Washington (how's that for coincidence?)

They may be the first in the U.S. but not in the w (1)

PepeNeif (7118) | more than 15 years ago | (#2010263)

This is good of course,
I don't want to sound sarcastic, but they are not the first large retailer to use Linux and Open Source in the world.

In México, there is a large retailer 189 stores
with 6,000 employees called "Telas Parisina" who uses Linux, Postgres and Perl.

We choosed Linux not because of the price, but because the price/benefit ratio, we ended spentding a lot of money because we had to train our employees, develop our own code and do the needed things to connect ourselves with our suppliers, but it was money with a good justification.

I was the CIO and never, never used the word free (as is spanish "gratis") I always tried to show the performance part of the project, because I knew the CEO will always try to cut the assigned budget for the "computer projects", (you must understand that in Mexico not everybody is used to the computers and information technologies do not play such important role in the people's life than in the U.S.)

Today the project is a success, it allowed the business to grow from 40 stores to 189. And now I'm fixing a little biplane aircraft, and teach at the university in Mexico City, I seep well and I know that the CEO and the administrative people like me because of the results the Open Source has given (note that I don't work as CIO at Parisina anymore I only do consulting once in a while).

Please everybody be careful about how you say "it is going to be cheaper" because that is not the main reason of the free software after all, the main reason has to be: "it is better because we have full control by having the source code"

user training (1)

aphr0 (7423) | more than 15 years ago | (#2010264)

They mention the cost saved by not having to buy and operating system for each machine, but I wonder about the cost of retraining users to use linux.

Re: Burlington Coat Factory installs 1,300 Linux b (1)

scathew (7747) | more than 15 years ago | (#2010265)

Thanks again to all for the support.

Yes, we (Burlington Coat Factory Warehouse) do in
fact have some people who read Slashdot, albeit we
don't have much time so we're a bit behind (hey,
we've got to get this project rolling you know).
In any case it's a great E-zine.

At the bottom I'll give an address whereby you
can address further queries, but first I'd like
to make a few comments:

1) BCFW is in fact going to use Linux at the
front end where people can see it. At first
we're simply using it to replace X terminals
in the stores and in our corporate offices.
Later we're going to use it as the main
processor in the stores (actually using the
Linux X-Terms as redundant servers). We
also may use it for kiosks for some projects
coming up (so real users may well see it).
We'd love to use it for POS terminals but it
isn't cheap to replace the older boxes we
have that are frankly functioning just fine.
As we migrate to more powerful platforms
you may see Linux for those applications.

2) We choose Linux because not only because it
was cheap, but because it was open. We've
long been proponents of open systems and open
standards. We've been using TCP/IP, RPC, NFS,
etc. for over 10 years. We started out with
Sun and Sequent Unix and never looked back and
it's saved us lots of money and development
time. We currently have no legacy mainframes
to support and we want to keep it that way.

We also don't love Microsoft's tactics in
the marketplace. That's not however to say we
don't use their products. We have to be
realistic and they do make some good products
that are hard to replace. We frankly believe
in using the right tool for the right job
and therefor we don't think it's healthy to
turn our backs on any products. On the other
hand, for reasons the readers here are well
aware, most of our systems engineers
prefer Unix and Linux.

3) Yes, we're interested in getting resumes for
people who are "Linux Gurus". We run lean and
fast so there aren't a lot of openings but
if you're interested send to the address below.
We're busy so it may take a little while to

4) Yes, we are the unfortunate company with the
dog problem. It was a horrible accidental
purchase and sale to which everyone I've met
in the company feels terrible about. We've done
everything in our power to correct the mistake
and we have worked closely with the Humane
Society to make things better. We can only ask
that you all forgive us. Believe me, most of
the people here have dogs and absolutely none
would had purposefully sold those jackets.

5) No, I don't think we can claim credit for
being the first retailer to use Linux and I
don't think anyone in our company intended to
sound that way. We are however one of the first
large retailers in the US to do so.

6) We don't think Linux will be that much of a
learning curve because:

a) We've been using diverse front ends for
some time so our users are pretty savy (or
is that shell shocked?). ;-)
b) We're probably going to use the AnotherLevel
Win 95 emulation. We figure the largest
part of our end users will be familiar
(comfortable) with this look and feel.

Thats it. You may contact me with more questions or resumes at:

Matt Fahrner
Manager of Netorking

Because I haven't put this through our PR
department I'm obliged to indicate that this
letter does not necessary reflect the view of
Burlington Coat Factory Warehouse, its management,
or it affiliates and is strictly "my personal
opinion". You can take that whatever way you want.
Note that because we're still in development any
or all of what I discussed here may change, but
I wouldn't bet on it.

Re: Burlington Coat Factory installs 1,300 Linux b (1)

scathew (7747) | more than 15 years ago | (#2010266)

As a sort of humorous aside, we may well track the
project to roll this (Linux) out using Microsoft
Project. Oh well.... ;-)

Ahh, Burlington Coat Factory (1)

Urban Dragon (8053) | more than 15 years ago | (#2010267)

The store that sold Dogs Fur Coats last fall....


Only 250 (1)

MrT (9608) | more than 15 years ago | (#2010268)

Cool dude, nice work. Can you give us any details about the implementation?

EExcellent quotes! (1)

StimpyBoy (11864) | more than 15 years ago | (#2010269)

"I would rather choose to have my leg bitten off than to buy NT", DNA Plant Technologies Corp. Sysadmin

Heh, this sysadmin sounds a tiny bit bitter :)

Suits, Understand? (1)

teasea (11940) | more than 15 years ago | (#2010270)

Not likely. They still don't understand why no one has copyrighted breathing air. Just another setback in the 'game' of accumulation.

Free At Last! (1)

Jon Palmer (12614) | more than 15 years ago | (#2010271)

Congratulations to Burlington Coat for breaking away from helpless dependency on Those Who Know What You Need Better Than You Do.

But it's not only the management who benefit. This escape from software secrecy makes it possible for employees who take an interest in computers to start learning what goes on under the hood, and maybe even suggesting improvements. Under the M$ regime, such curiosity only results in frustration. I can imagine Linux providing someone in a dull job with a here-and-now chance to start learning something valuable and have it appreciated and rewarded on the spot. Linux is good for everybody.

Bingo (1)

BrianH (13460) | more than 15 years ago | (#2010272)

I've said it before and I'll say it doesn't mean diddly to corporations. When I converted the company I work for over, I didn't care about price, to be honest the final tally for the conversion was just under $90,000. We knew we were going to lose money, but we did it anyway. Why? Source access.

We wanted to (and did) write a custom GUI tailored specifically to our company's needs, with just the features we required, and certain "features" that can't be found in any OS (like remote keyboard locking...don't ask). When I was initially approached by the higher-ups about locating software that was "better suited to our needs", I immediately suggested Linux. When I explained to them that we could integrate our apps and OS into one stable package they were ecstatic, when I mentioned that it was free I didn't even get a shrug.

It won't take the suits long to catch on. (1)

Kludge (13653) | more than 15 years ago | (#2010273)

$$ is what they understand.

Is this the same company that had dog fur coats? (1)

crispy (14415) | more than 15 years ago | (#2010274)

I saw a Dateline story and found this article [] that confirms it. A Burlington Coat factory sold coats lined with dog fur. An interesting aside, I thought. It's still great news that linux is getting some commercial use. Gives me hope that I'll be able to get a job programming that doesn't involve knowing MFC.

Also, they call linux shareware!?

Spot Couture (1)

bonkydog (17461) | more than 15 years ago | (#2010275)

I'm a big fan of Mont Briac, a sheep's milk blue.

Any blue cheese fans out there, y'all should try it.


Only 250 (1)

berend (18097) | more than 15 years ago | (#2010276)

We support over 1500 stores running Linux in Sothern Africa. Thats 1500 stores, each running Linux PoSes, a Linux Central environment, etc. The biggest single retailer is 500 stores large. We actually installed over 1000 stores last year.

Hello from the Philly / So. Jersey area! (1)

Purple Haze (79689) | more than 15 years ago | (#2010277)

Ummm...Burlington, NJ? :)

Try for all of their locations.

Perhaps, but if I do, I do it well. (1)

flirzan (133046) | more than 14 years ago | (#2010278)

The complete lack of intellect in your post leads me to believe that you are exactly the kind of person who should be drug into the street, beaten with a stick filled with broken windows cd's, have alcohol poured into your seeping wounds, and then be forced to debug microsoft code for 15 days straight. go away, we don't like you.
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