Grocers Make News from the NRF Show Floor

NEW YORK -- Following are several retail newsmakers from National Retail Federation's 95th Annual Convention & EXPO, held here this week:

Hannaford Bros. Co. Uses IP Telephony to Boost Communications: The Delhaize-owned regional supermarket chain, with 147 supermarkets in the Northeast, plans to install a new IP telephony system to simplify store operations and create a more responsive organization, while at the same time providing customers with an enhanced retail experience.

The new telephony system will be installed by networking provider Cisco Systems, which had installed Hannaford's existing Intelligent Retail Network, and will serve as a foundation for delivering applications and features such as time clocking and attendance, computer-assisted ordering, inventory access and out-of-stocks notification, personnel and operations, and product lookup.

"Hannaford is a leading-edge, customer-oriented enterprise," said Ed Taggart, manager, network and communications, Hannaford Bros. "We were looking for a solution that strongly reflected this to our employees and customers. Our existing Cisco infrastructure was poised to assume the new Cisco IP Telephony augmentation, and the benefits to this implementation have been substantial. Cisco phone solutions give us both the power and the ability to make each phone handset a mission-critical information touch-point."

Food Lion Deploys Space and Assortment Optimization System: Another Delhaize-owned supermarket chain, Food Lion, Salisbury, N.C. plans to install a space and assortment optimization planning system to deliver consumer-centric assortments -- via tailored, automated planograms -- to its stores chain-wide.

The solution, called the Automated Micro Assortment Planner from Chicago-based Galleria Retail Technology Solutions, provide assortment and space planning solutions that can be implemented at a national, cluster or store-specific level.

"The new banners and customer segmentation strategy developed by Food Lion were key decisions in moving the business forward," said Geoff Waldau, v.p. of merchandising services, Food Lion. "The goal of our multi-banner and customer segmentation strategy was to significantly increase customer satisfaction levels with the Food Lion brands. To accomplish this, we needed a more granular, synchronized assortment and space planning solution that would enable us to effectively support the resulting business changes."

AAFES Deploys Workforce Management System: Having already successfully integrated and centralized its workforce management processes through deployment of a new workforce management system in two regions, Dallas-based Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) plans to continue with a full installation across its remaining three regions.

AAFES is using Kronos for Retail from Chelmsford, Mass.-based Kronos Inc., which allows AAFES' headquarter labor management branch and store operators to manage its global workforce through a comprehensive set of budgeting, forecasting, scheduling, time and labor, and business intelligence tools.

"AAFES selected Kronos, to centralize, standardize, and streamline workforce management processes across our unique enterprise of Military Exchanges," said Marilyn Iverson, c.o.o. "Among other benefits, the Kronos for Retail solution has successfully provided AAFES with increased visibility and control at all levels of our organization."
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