Village Super Market Expands Use of AI Chainwide at ShopRite, Fairway Banners

Food retailer expands partnership with Focal Systems to digitize shelves with computer vision
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
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Village Super Market is introducing the Focal Systems Operating System chainwide at its ShopRite and Fairway Market stores.

New Jersey-based Village Super Market, Inc. has revealed it will roll out the Focal Systems Operating System (FocalOS) chainwide at its ShopRite and Fairway Market banner stores. Following a successful pilot in five stores across New Jersey and New York, this expansion will optimize ordering, inventory management, merchandising and in-store labor in an effort to transform the customer experience.

Focal Systems has been leading the retail transformation charge by automating and optimizing brick-and-mortar retail with state-of-the-art deep learning and Al. Having raised $40 million to date, Focal Systems is used by retailers across three continents in nearly 1,000 stores, with over 250,000 cameras deployed. The company recently made headlines for its rollout across over 400 Walmart stores throughout Canada, as well as in the Midwest grocery chain Piggly Wiggly and Pacific Northwest grocery chain Metropolitan Market.

Village Super Market is the owner and operator of 30 ShopRite stores in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland, as well as four Gourmet Garage stores and four Fairway Market stores in New York City. The company’s new rollout with Focal Systems will involve deploying hundreds of tiny, inexpensive shelf cameras that digitize shelves hourly with accurate computer vision. FocalOS then uses that data to automate in-store processes and enable accurate, just-in-time ordering.

[Read more: "Village Super Market’s Adjusted Net Income Surges 93% in Q3"]

"Village Super Market has demonstrated time and time again its commitment to putting its customers first," said Francois Chaubard, CEO and founder of San Francisco-based Focal Systems. "By investing in Al early on, Village Super Market is positioning itself to provide the ultimate in-store experience. The technology enables associates to spend more time with customers, reinforcing the family environment its stores are known for."

"We chose Focal Systems as they have proven they can reliably unlock productivity gains in our stores with their Al, while improving the customer experience and sales," said Nico Sumas, co-president of Village Super Market. "We've already seen improvements in product availability for our customers by increasing the productivity of our replenishment staff. We can't wait to optimize the rest of our stores with this rollout."

"What I love about working at Village Super Market, and what our founders love, is the honor of serving our local communities and the pleasure of seeing new faces walk through our doors every day," added Dayhana Pena, store manager of Fairway Market Kips Bay, N.Y. "I'm blown away by how Focal Systems' technology enhanced the shopping experience in our store so we can continue to put our customers, associates and families first."

Village Super Market is a member of Wakefern Food Corp., the nation's largest retailer-owned cooperative. Keasbey, N.J.-based Wakefern comprises more than 40 members that independently own and operate 360-plus supermarkets. The company is No. 29 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 listing of North America’ s top food and consumables retailers in North America

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