EXCLUSIVE: Dorothy Lane Market Streamlines Operations With Shelf-Edge Technology

Solution from SES-imagotag allows for price changes to be made automatically
Emily Crowe, Progressive Grocer
DLM electronic shelf tag
Dorothy Lane Market is utilizing electronic shelf tags from SES-imagotag to automatically initiate price changes across its three stores.

Southwest Ohio-based Dorothy Lane Market (DLM) is ramping up its technology stack with the addition of electronic shelf labels from SES-imagotag. Progressive Grocer visited DLM’s Washington Square location in Dayton to learn more about how the technology is helping to streamline operations and free up time for the independent retailer’s associates.

Through its partnership with SES-imagotag, DLM began deploying electronic shelf labels to its center store operations in September, and the grocer is currently working to expand the labels to the rest of its shelves and product displays in its perishable departments. According to Patrick Arnold, DLM’s VP of IT and marketing, the solution was relatively simple to deploy, though some physical alterations to shelving units were first necessary. 

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DLM utilizes the technology in a way that allows for tags to be automatically adjusted at all three of its stores when price changes come through. Arnold says that being able to initiate price changes electronically, and from a central location, has amounted to huge labor savings, while also ensuring products are priced correctly.

“The bigger thing for us was that our gross margins were suffering in the center store with inflation last year,” Arnold says. “This let us immediately fix that."

DLM electronic shelf tag
Shelf tags from SES-imagotag also allow stores to feature recipes for particular products.

Arnold further explains that margins were previously suffering because the pricing department couldn’t effectively process the nearly 3,000 price changes that were coming in each week. The SES solution lets the company immediately deploy those changes without having to manually enter them, print new tags and physically hang them.

The next step for DLM is to integrate the electronic shelf tags into its fresh departments, including waterproof tags for seafood and smaller electronic tags that can sit atop small stands for the cheese department. Additional SES electronic signage is being placed throughout the stores that can tell producer stories, give recipe recommendations or include QR codes to help customers learn more about particular products.

Meanwhile, DLM is rolling out other tech enhancements to its stores, including digital menus for its coffee bar, sandwich station and grill, as well as whole menu ordering directly from its cafe or wine bar tables. 

Dorothy Lane Market operates three stores in and around Dayton, and is set to expand to the Greater Cincinnati area next year with a location in Mason, Ohio. The indie retailer is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2023 and was also named to this year’s class of Progressive Grocer Top Regionals.

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